WHILE REMINDING the Congress and particularly Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, about its biggest pre-poll promise – total loan waiver – for the farmers of Punjab, leader of opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha and AAP leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira Saturday provided monetary help to the families of farmers who committed suicide because of farm debt. Under two programmes of AAP, seven families were given Rs 50,000 each as one-time benefit and 20 families were adopted for monthly pension of Rs 2,500 for the next five years.
The monetary help was provided under ‘Peerit Kisan-Khet Mazdoor Bachao Muhim’ initiate by Sukhpal Khaira with the help of NRIs from Punjab as well as local donors. Khaira said, “We initiated the ‘muhim’ (campaign) from Bathinda and Mansa districts area, where 55 effected families were provided monetary help. It is the need of the hour to save the farmers of state as the successive governments have failed the agriculture in state.” Khaira said, adding that now total 75 families are being provided monetary help and many more were being identified.
“Captain Amarinder Singh had categorically assured to waive the total debt of farmers before elections but he is now running away from fulfilling his manifesto promise. The farmers must question Congress leaders about the bogus promises made to them when they come for campaign in Gurdaspur bypoll,” said Khaira. The LoP said as per the promise, it was Captain’s agreement with the farmers of the state to waive the whole loan, so failing to do so it is sheer breach of agreement.
The LoP said that in the annual budget of state, a ‘paltry’ amount of Rs 1,500 crore was allotted against the debt of Rs 1 lakh crore. “In the past 6 months of Captain’s government, nearly 250 farmers have committed suicide.” Khaira said.
He also supported the agitation of farmer organisations against Captain’s government at his residence — Moti Mahal — starting from September 22. Several farmers families were present at the conference. Khaira appealed to farmers and farm labourers not to commit suicide and to stand up against the “anti-farmer government.”