Raking up the the issue of moisture content in paddy, state Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh Saturday alleged discrimination against Punjab and questioned Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s silence on the matter.
Addressing a meeting of ex-servicemen from the Doaba region today, Amarinder said that while the Food Corporation of India was allowing 21 per cent moisture content in paddy in Haryana but when it came to Punjab it was allowing only 17 per cent. The state Congress chief claimed that since there is a BJP government in Haryana and at the Centre, the state is getting special concession while Punjab is being ignored. He accused Badal for not objecting to it just because he doesn’t want to upset the Prime Minister in anticipation of some post-retirement favours.
Referring to the state government’s admission about missing food grains worth Rs 32,000 crores, he said that the matter must be probed by the CBI and that the Chief Minister must be held accountable on the matter. Besides this, he also spoke on the evacuation process and slammed the Akali-BJP government for harassing thousands of villagers living in the border areas.
The former chief minister also spoke extensively on issues related to farmers and vowed support if his government comes to power. Taking up the farmers’ debt issue, Amarinder reiterated that his government will own up the entire debt of the farmers. He said the Centre has saved Rs 3 lakh crores in oil imports and that the Congress wants it to provide debt relief to the farmers from this saving.
He further said that the state had a responsibility towards the farmers and more so towards the Punjabi farmers who scripted the Green Revolution. “The same farmers now can’t make their both ends meet and are resorting to suicides”, he said, while appealing them to wait for four months more when their entire debt will be waived off.
Seeks support of ex-servicemen Amarinder made a fervent appeal to the ex-servicemen to help and support him in the upcoming elections in the interest of Punjab. “I want to see the smile back on all the faces of Punjabis”, he said, adding that this was going to be his last election and he wants the new generation to be given a chance.