A day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s visit to Mansa, Sukpal Singh Khaira, leader of opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, also villages in the region. He went to Khiyala Kalan and Sahnewali villages, which Amarinder had visited Friday, and alleged that there was a “nexus between pesticide and insecticide manufacturing companies with ministers in the state government.
Khaira said,”Under the SAD-BJP government, when a scam of Rs 1,700 crore involving pesticides came to light, the then agriculture minister Tota Singh had been blamed and even his resignation had been sought. The same applies for the Congress government and even their minister should also be held accountable for spurious supply of pesticides and insecticides. Rather than just booking a few dealers, the errant manufacturers should be caught… I am sure they are hand-in-glove with state ministers.”
Khaira, without naming Amarinder, who holds the agriculture portfolio, said the person in charge of the agriculture ministry need to be questioned about the poor quality of pesticides.
He also alleged that long “absences of the CM” from Punjab was the reason that officials were not taking the common man seriously. He said, “The CM came to the fields for the first time after taking charge and it was such a hurried visit that he did not even meet the farmers in a proper manner. He did not announce any special girdawri for the farmers who ploughed their fields after crop damage.”
Khaira said AAP is demanding Rs 12,000 an acre as compensation for the farmers who have ploughed their fields. This fund should be provided from the National Disaster Relief Fund after adding the state government’s contribution as well.
Khaira said white fly menace could not be controlled in many fields, which is a straight indicator that pesticides were
ineffective. He told farmers that he would next visit Mansa on August 22 and 23 and would distribute monetary relief to the families of farmers who committed suicide.