With less than one week left for the high stake civic polls in Punjab, the farmers are on the streets to highlight unfulfilled -poll promises made by Amarinder government in the state. The leaders of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) have decided to protest in front of all 77 Congress legislators in various districts and constituencies.
The decision was followed by a protest in Sangrur when farmer leaders submitted a memorandum, citing the demands for complete loan waiver, adequate power supply to crops and further enhancement on sugarcane State Agreed Price (SAP).
“We are not satisfied with the state government’s claim of waiving off farm loan up to Rs 2 Lakh. Congress had promised for complete loan waiver before assuming power. Even, the meager hike of Rs 10 in sugarcane SAP is much less than Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. We have launched a statewide campaign to protest against Congress legislators in their constituencies”, said, BKU (Rajewal), president, Balbir Singh Rajewal.
Fatehgarh Sahib legislator, Kuljit Singh Nagra told The Statesman that the government has already issued the notification on loan waiver towards its commitment made in poll manifesto. He accused the anti-Congress elements for misleading the farmers just ahead of civic polls.
“It will have no effect on the working spirits of the state government which is trying hard to fulfill pre-poll promises. We are with farmers and will welcome if they come to us. The Rs 2 Lakh loan waiver is just a first step as the government intends to take up it further. The farmers should keep their faith in the state government”, he said.
Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) co-president, Aman Arora said the farmers are not demanding anything unusual. He claimed close to 350 farmers have committed suicide due to the debt burden. “In his pre-poll campaigns, the CM had made passionate speeches assuring farmers to not commit suicide and give a chance to him. It is very unfortunate that if a farmer will have a debt of Rs 2.02 Lakh, his loan will not be fully waived off as per government’s module. The government already lacking to perform since it assumed power. The farmers should be given relief”, he said.
It is learnt that the Punjab government’s farmer loan waiver could be much less than the estimated Rs 9,500 crore. As per the notification issued by state government, the small farmers having total outstanding crop loan liability up to Rs 2 Lakh will be provided relief. The development is significant as the civic polls in three corporations of Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala are scheduled to be held on 17 December.