Badal govt responsible for Punjab farmer's misery, says Congress leader

Chandigarh: Congress, on Tuesday, alleged that the Parkash Singh Badal government in Punjab was responsible for the "misery" of farmers in the state and that their "plight worsened" due to the "delay" in release of payment.

The state government had "failed" to get remaining amount of cash credit limit from banks, a situation that is "unprecedented", Congress Legislature Party chief Charanjit Singh Channi said.

Terming the meeting of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "media stunt", he said the meeting was held just to "divert the attention of the farmers and the people of Punjab from the core issue".

Channi claimed that the Punjab government had so far released payment for only about 40 percent of wheat procured by the state agencies.

File photo. AFP.

File photo. AFP.

"This is a reflection of the scandalous functioning of the Badal government, which is now not being trusted by the Centre, despite the fact that Akali Dal was the alliance partner of BJP, and part of the government at the Centre," he said.

He expressed concern over suicides by farmers and farm workers and said that the unfortunate trend had become "unstoppable". Their "harassment" in mandis was adding to this otherwise "hopeless situation", Channi said.

"These suicides reflects the magnitude of the crisis that was confronting the farm sector and the state government had failed to take even a single step to improve the situation," he said.

He claimed that farm incomes grew the fastest from 2004-05 to 2011-12 when the UPA was in power at the Centre, which used to take "good care" of farm sector by appropriate hikes in the minimum support prices.

Channi alleged that due to the "utter neglect" of the health sector by the Badal government, the rural health scheme has "totally collapsed" in the absence of adequate staff at some places.

On the other hand, the government had been encouraging private sector players thereby making treatment out of the reach of the common man, he added.

Channi said, Congress, after coming to power in 2017 elections, would give top priority to health and education sectors while coming out with a long term policy for the farm sector.

Updated Date: May 03, 2016 18:30 PM

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