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Farmers hold rally in Tarn Taran, remind govt of ‘full debt waiver’ promise

Hopes dashed: Leaders accuse the Congress government of going back on its word.

punjab Updated: Mar 30, 2018 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Farmers hold rally,farmers rally,Punjab farmers
Farmers during a state-level debt waiver rally in Tarn Taran on Thursday.(HT Photo)

The Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) organised a state-level rally at the grain market in Tarn Taran on Thursday. Around 5,000 members of various farmer organisations, including women and labourers, from 15 districts of the state, took part in the rally and raised anti-government slogans reminding the Captain Amrinder Singh government of its pre-poll promise of ‘complete farm debt waiver’.

Addressing the rally, KSC president Satnam Singh Pannuand general secretarySawinder Singh Chautala and other leaders of various farmer organisations accused the government of backtracking on the promise made with the state’s farmers and labourers.

They warned the state government that they will not allow any officials of the administration or banks to attach the properties of farmers, who are reeling under the burden of debt. They said, “If anyone comes for ‘kurki’ (attaching) the land of any farmer, we will ‘gherao’ them.

They also accused the Narendra Modi government at the Centre of misleading farmers with claims of doubling their farm income and providing 50% profit over input costs. The leaders equated the Congress government in Punjab with the previous SAD-BJP regime in meting out injustice to farmers.

They said, earlier, the Parkash Singh Badal government pushed the small and marginal farmers to the brink of committing suicides and, toeing the same line, the current government was also no better as it had dashed all hopes of farmers of a ‘complete debt waiver’.

“We will not let this government befool farmers with lofty promises. Even the Union government is writing off loans of corporates worth lakhs of crores, but have not kept even a penny for farm debt waiver,” they said.

Pannu said nearly 4 lakh farmers had committed suicide in the country during the past 10 years and more than 20,000 were from Punjab.

Other demands

Pannu said, “We will block rail traffic in Punjab, if government agencies fail to procure wheat crop this year.” He said a meeting to take a decision in this regard has been scheduled on April 12 at KSC’s head office in Chabba village in Amritsar.

The leaders also demanded implementation of the Dr Swaminathan commission report.

They also demanded a pension of Rs 10,000 per month for farmers and labourers of more than 60 years of age, compensation of Rs 10,000 per acre to border farmers whose farm land is across the India-Pakistan fencing line and restart of thermal plants of Bathinda and Ropar districts.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 13:52 IST