Punjab

SAD questions Congress for photo-ops with Tamil farmers and mum over plight of Punjab farmers

August 11, 2017 04:46 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Amritsar mp Gurjit Singh Aujla to explain to Punjabis why they were not visiting families of farmers who had committed suicide in Punjab, including Congress supporters, even as they continued to engage in photo-ops with Tamil Nadu farmers.

Member of Parliament for Amritsar Gurjeet Singh Aujla today met the Tamil farmers who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar since weeks. A delegation of farmers met Congress president Smt. Sonia Gandhi this morning at Parliament, who deputed S. Aujla to visit the protesting farmers and prepare a report. Over 100 farmers fled from their villages in Tamil Nadu to stage a protest at Jantar Mantar with the skulls of the people who committed suicide. Farmers are demanding that the Centre announce a drought relief package and loan waiver for peasants from the state.

SAD in a statement former minister and SAD general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia asked Rahul Gandhi why he had not commiserated with even one of the 200 farmer families whose bread winners had committed suicide in Punjab. “Why is it that you have time to go to Jantar Mantar to show solidarity with protesting Tamil Nadu farmers but don’t have either the time or the inclination to express condolence with Punjab farmers who are committing suicide because your government is not implementing the complete loan waiver promised to them. Doesn’t the pain and suffering of the Punjab farmers touch you?”

Majithia said it was similarly shocking and shameful that Amritsar mp Gurjit Aujla was getting himself clicked with Tamil Nadu farmers, but had failed to condole the death of his constituent Major Singh of Ajnala who committed suicide last month. He said Major had left behind a suicide note stating that he had voted for the Congress but was now ending his life because the Congress government had failed to implement its loan waiver commitment.

Asking Rahul Gandhi and the entire Congress establishment as to how many more farmer deaths it wanted before it would wake up and implement the loan waiver, Mr Majithia said after Major Singh, another farmer – Tek Singh of Bathinda had committed suicide yesterday and left behind a suicide note stating the Congress government was driving farmers to take this extreme measure. Sources say Tek Singh was a staunch Congress supporter. “This is a dangerous trend and could lead to a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions in the State if not checked immediately”, he added.

Asking the Congress government and its sleeping finance minister Manpreet Badal to wake up before it is too late; the Akali leader said Manpreet was entirely responsible for the horrific end being met by farmers in the State. “Manpreet first made the farm loan waiver the cornerstone of the Congress election manifesto which was authored by him. He then disobeyed his own chief minister and betrayed the entire farming community by announcing a minuscule crop loan waiver. Now he is inventing excuses to implement even this waiver for which money was allocated in the State budget. It is because of these steps and the realization by the peasantry that the Congress government is not going to implement the loan waiver that farmers are losing heart and committing suicide in droves”, he added.

Telling Rahul Gandhi to stop doing photo –dramas, Mr Majithia said “for once in your life you have a chance to walk the talk and make a change in the lives of lakhs of Punjab farmers who are under severe economic stress. You have your own government in the State. Please direct it to implement the loan waiver immediately to stem the wave of suicides or be directly responsible for the catastrophe which will follow”.

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