KHARAR: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi to review the meager compensation offered to cotton growers whose entire crop had been destroyed by the recent pink bollworm attack, even as he condemned the chief minister for failing to even register a protest against the appointment of 1984 genocide perpetrator Jgdish Tytler to a top Congress panel.
Talking to newsmen here, the SAD president said it was shocking that the Congress government had cheated farmers and was offering most of them only partial compensation even though their cotton crop had been completely destroyed by pest attack. “Farmers have been demanding compensation at the rate of Rs 50, 000 per acre but the Congress government is offering a measly compensation of only Rs 2, 000 for up to 35 per cent crop damage and Rs 5, 400 for up to 75 per cent crop damage. Government sources are also trying to limit all farmers in this bracket by stating that there was only partial damage to the cotton crop. This effectively means that even the meager compensation of Rs 12, 000 per acre for 100 per cent crop damage will not be available to farmers”.
Asserting that the Congress government had not only backstabbed cotton farmers, Mr Sukhbir Badal said even khet mazdoor whose livelihood had been affected by the destruction of the cotton crop, had been given a poor deal. “The government has played fraud on the farm labourers by offering them ten per cent of the total compensation award. No frame work has been made for distribution of this award. We reject this injustice done unto the khet mazdoor and demand they be given a flat compensation of Rs 15, 000 per acre”.
Speaking on the issue of appointment of Jagdish Tytler to a top Congress panel, Mr Badal said the chief minister had hurt the sentiments of Punjabis by becoming part of the conspiracy to rehabilitate the genocide perpetrator. “Former PCC chief Sunil Jakhar has enumerated Mr Charanjit Channi’s role in the entire episode. The chief minister has refused to either issue any clarification or register a strong protest against the move with Congress President Sonia Gandhi. No chief minister of Punjab is expected to act in this way. Punjabis will not tolerate this insult to their collective identity”. He also condemned PCC President Navjot Sidhu and home minister for sucking up to the Gandhi family and not even daring to register a formal protest against the plum post given to Tytler.
The SAD President also asked the chief minister to leave photo-ops and start working for the welfare of the people. “You have only two months at your disposal. You should use them to mitigate the suffering of the people and implement the promises made by your party. Instead of doing this, you are solely indulging in publicity gimmicks”. Mr Badal asked the CM to intervene to first mitigate the suffering of farmers by offering them a genuine compensation package for destruction of their cotton crop. He said similarly. He said Channi should also halve the State VAT on diesel, ensure easy availability of DAP fertilizer and put an end to its black marketing. He said instead of doing this the new CM was devoting his entire time to the excuse and mining portfolios and working as per the demands of the liquor and mining mafia.
Earlier Mr Sukhbir Badal participated in a massive road show from the Siswan T point to the Marble Market in Mullanpur along with party candidate from this constituency – Ranjit Singh Gill and Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra. People came out in thousands to support the SAD and register their no- confidence in the corrupt, scam ridden and anti- people Congress government. He also interacted with different cross sections of people at Kharar. He said it was astonishing that despite being so close to the capital city of Chandigarh, the town did not have access to all modern facilities. He assured them that the next SAD – BSP alliance government would develop Kharar in an integrated manner as per a master plan.
Later at Nayagaon, he also announced that it would be developed on the pattern of the New Chandigarh project by making it part of the new township once the SAD-BSP alliance government took over the reins of the State.
Mr Badal also interacted with youth, during a program Coffee with youth. Answered all their queries and gave vision for a new Punjab. The SAD president also held detailed discussions with traders, realtors, doctors, advocates and some Sarpanch and Panchayat members.
Senior SAD Leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema was also present on the occasion.