The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has vehemently opposed the condition of land records being imposed on the farmers by the ruling Congress government for procurement of the upcoming paddy crop and warned the state government not to target its farmers at the behest of the Modi-led central government. Addressing the media during a press conference held here on Saturday, AAP’s Kisan wing state president and MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan said the condition of the Mandi Board to all the Market Committees to procure paddy on the basis of land for the forthcoming procurement of paddy was unnecessary and impractical.

“This is a fatal decision for lakhs of farmers in the state, especially the small, landless and hardworking farmers who are engaged in contract farming. The Punjab government should immediately withdraw its dictatorial order, ” said Sandhwan. He said the condition of purchase of crops on land records was a conspiracy to secretly enforce the black agriculture laws as the Union government had entered into agreements with big companies like Patanjali and Microsoft in the field of agriculture and these companies would misuse the farmers’ data. Sandhwan said the intention of the central government towards the farmers was bad and the agriculture sector was being corporatized.

Taking a dig at the Congress government, Sandhwan said the government being run by sitting at the royal farm house could only take such suicidal and genocidal decisions as the people were not on the agenda of the ruling Congress. “Today, the Modi government at the centre is using the country and the Congress government in the state is using Punjab; like the corporate companies, to fill its coffers and the coffers of its cronies, ” he added. Sandhwan said the condition of purchase of crops on land record was a trick to harass the farmers as the mandi mafia could not be eradicated with such dictatorial orders. He said the mafia which was importing wheat and paddy from other states and selling it in the mandis of Punjab was no other but the corrupt members of the ruling Congress and government machinery.

The AAP leader claimed that this mafia was operating under the rule of the Badals; but in the present Congress government rule, every Congressman, big or small, has embezzled crores of rupees through this Mandi mafia. Sandhwan alleged that according to an estimate, Rs 10, 000 crore was being misappropriated per season. “Not with the land records, but it can only be quelled by the true intentions and determination of the ruling party. Unfortunately, neither the Congress nor the SAD-BJP has such intentions and willpower, ” he added.

Sandhwan said with the formation of the AAP government in 2022, the mandi mafia like other mafias would be subject to high level and impartial investigation and the external and internal mandi mafia would be cracked down to protect the interests of the farmers-arhtiyas and related traders. He said the Congress government of Punjab should fight for the interests of the farmers, laborers, arhtiyas and traders of the state; instead of implementing the anti-farmer agenda of the Modi government. Therefore, the state government should immediately withdraw this irrational decision taken by the Mandi Board.

On the occasion, Bathinda urban district president Neel Garg, district president rural Gurjant Singh Sivian, state joint secretary Rakesh Puri, state vice president Women Wing Baljinder Kaur, Trade Wing state vice president Anil Thakur, cashier ML Jindal, media incharge Balkar Singh Bhokra, social media incharge Sukhvir Brar, SC Wing district president Manjit Singh, Intellectual Wing district president Mahinder Singh Phullo Mithi, Baljit Bali, block president Yadvinder Tungwali, Kamaljit Kaur Bhucho, Ranjit Rabbi, Bittu and Gursewak Singh Tungwali, among others were present.

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