Former Leader of Opposition and rebel AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira Tuesday accused the Centre of acting vindictively against Punjab and trying to teach a lesson to the agitating farmers instead of accepting their legitimate demands.
In a statement, Khaira said this discriminatory attitude smacks of hatred and ill-will that the BJP leadership has towards Punjab. He said the agitating farmers have kept their protests peaceful and not a single incident of violence has taken place during the last couple of months of agitation. Instead of accepting their demands or reasoning out with them, the BJP-led NDA government at Centre has stopped all essential commodities supply to Punjab, particularly through the rail network.
Khaira said there is a dire need of fertilisers for sowing of wheat crop. Similarly, there is complete shortage of coal to run the thermal plants of the state and also people are awaiting general supply of items for the upcoming Diwali festival.
“But the BJP, on a totally false pretext, has stopped all trains to Punjab, even though the farmers have vacated the rail tracks for supply of essential commodities,” he said.
Khaira said it’s a pity that the farmers of Punjab who helped India become self sufficient in foodgrain production have been left in the lurch by successive central governments.
The former LoP said in order to fill the food granary, Punjab farmers have virtually destroyed their natural resources. He said ever since the Green Revolution, widespread use of fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides have not only ruined the soil but also contaminated the groundwater to such an extent that there is now a prevalence of cancer in the state.
Khaira said instead of rewarding the farmers for their hard work and commitment towards the country, the Centre is out to settle scores with them and teach them a lesson.
He urged the Centre to accept the genuine demands of the farmers and allow goods trains to Punjab so that fertilisers, coal etc. can reach the people. In case, the Government of India does not budge and continues to behave arrogantly, Khaira said, he would appeal to the people of Punjab to observe the upcoming festival as a “Black Diwali”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines