Updated: November 9, 2021 10:41:32 pm
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader and Leader of Opposition, Harpal Singh Cheema, on Tuesday termed the Punjab government’s order to stop procurement of paddy from mandis of the state as a ‘Tughlaqi farman’ and demanded that the purchase in all government mandis continued.
“Due to bad weather, the ripening and harvesting of paddy have been delayed this time due to which about 20 per cent of the crop is yet to reach the mandis,” Cheema said in a statement released in Chandigarh on Tuesday. He added that despite the delay in harvesting paddy due to natural calamity, the Modi government at the Centre and Channi government in Punjab were deliberately stopping procurement in government mandis so that paddy smuggled from other states could be forcibly added to Punjab’s account.
The Leader of Opposition said that the “deadly consequence” of this move will be that the farmers will be compelled to sell their crops to corporates and private buyers at prices below the MSP. Cheema further alleged that the action to stop the procurement of paddy in the government mandis of Punjab seems to be the result of a conspiracy involving the Narendra Modi-led Central government and the Charanjit SIngh Channi government of Punjab. He said while the Modi government was preparing to destroy government mandis of the state, the Punjab government was trying to fudge statistics of paddy sold in Punjab by importing it from outside and protecting the paddy mafia.
The AAP leader questioned that when procurement had been sanctioned by the Centre till November 30, on what basis the Punjab government was taking the decision to close the mandis on November 11. He said that this decision would prove fatal for the farmers, arhtiyas, labourers, and transporters.
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