The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday accused Congress led government deliberately avoiding discussion on farmer loan waiver in the Punjab Assembly winter session. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal castigated the government for not allowing discussion on the adjournment motion moved by the SAD-BJP legislator group to discuss the crisis in the farm sector. The SAD legislators even staged a walk out from Assembly to register their protest.
Addressing the press persons after the Assembly session’s adjournment, the SAD president said SAD- BJP legislators were forced to protest due to the government’s refusal to debate on the farmers loan waiver issue.
Badal accused the government of deceiving and betraying farmers by making announcements of a complete loan waiver. Badal said the government has been clearing the proposals on farmer loan waiver in Cabinet meeting and even passing a notification to this effect. “Nothing has happened on the ground and no farmer’s loan has been waived till now. In fact the government’s false announcements have ruined farmers. Farmers have been declared defaulters by banks because they stopped paying interest on loans. Now they are being forced to take loans from private money lenders as banks are refusing to extend this facility to them”, he said.
SAD president said the SAD had moved an adjournment motion because nearly 300 farmers have committed suicide with some even naming Chief Minister (CM) Amarinder Singh in their suicide note. “It is strange that a government which paid tributes to farmer suicide victims during obituary references, refused to allow debate on their plight or even announce any relief for them in the form of government jobs as promised”, he said.
The SAD president said the manner in which the house was conducted today proved that the Congress and AAP were working in tandem. “AAP wants that the government should not target Khaira. To achieve this it has abandoned all people issues and also agreed not to target the government. That is why both Congress and AAP targeting the SAD”, he added. He also said the AAP’s only interest was to save leader of opposition party Sukhpal Khaira and it abandoned all the burning issues of Punjabis to fulfil this goal.
Badal said the SAD- BJP legislature group also wanted to raise the issue of injustice being done to Punjab farmers due to the government’s refusal to ensure parity of sugarcane state assured price with that given by the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments. “Hundreds of Crores are being given to sugar barons who are also part of the government which is also an issue of conflict of interest”, he added.