Punjab farmers remind PM of promise for double income, loan waiver 

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After the recent killing of six farmers in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab's farmer leaders on Friday urged the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi to fulfil his promise to double income of farmers and farm loan waiver.

In an open letter written to the PM, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) (Mann) flayed the killings of farmers in police firing and said farmers in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and other states also are protesting for their legitimate rights. "I have full information from my associate organisations in these states, who were part of the protests, that rogue elements were infiltrated by the state governments in this Kisan (farmer) movement to create violence. This is shamefully criminal," claimed Mann.

He said PM had assured farmers during his Independence Day speech from 'Lal Quila'(Red Fort) that income of farmers will be doubled. "It appears that you (PM) have forgotten this promise. I really wish that you have a memory for your promises as legendary as your 56 inch chest," said Mann in the open letter to PM. He also said that the PM had promised in 2014 poll manifesto that the farmers will be paid 50 per cent above the cost of production and waiver of debt in line with his promise during Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. "Instead of fulfilling the promises and listening to the protesting farmers you (PM) chose to issue two full page advertisements in newspapers by spending crores of rupees just to make false claims on achievements in agriculture and cover up your failures," lamented Mann. 

He also criticised Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah's statement that the BJP government is already paying 43 per cent higher than the cost of production. "This statement is a mockery on crore of Indian farmers who are in deep distress and thousands of farmers have committed suicides. I have extended open challenge to Amit Shah for a debate on cost of production. He is purely relying on calculations done by pseudo economists who make these calculations sitting on laptops in air conditioned offices," said Mann. 

The issue of farmer debt waiver is also expected to rock the Punjab Assembly session starting from 14 June. Experts said that it will cost to Punjab at least Rs.20,000 Crore which is already under debt of Rs 1.32 lakh Crore. They said, it will be a major challenge to the state to waive off such a large amount as the state is already under debt.

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