October 29, 2021 8:57:08 am
From April next year, no farmer or farm labourer in Punjab dies by suicide, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal Thursday promised and said his party is working on a special plan for the development of agriculture, which he will announce next month.
On his fourth visit to Punjab in last two months, Kejriwal also promised farmers to pay them compensation for crop failure by April 30 if his party came to power in Assembly polls. “After April 1, 2022, no farmers or farm labourers in Punjab will die by suicide due to crop failure. This is my promise and Kejriwal does what he says,” he said.
“Even after 70 years of independence, farmers are forced to die by suicide but other parties and leaders are not affected by it. If these leaders had such compassion, the country’s farmers, farm labourers and agriculture-dependent businesses would not have been facing such crises,” he said. Kejriwal was interacting with farmers under a party initiative – ‘Kisana naal Kejriwal di galbaat’.
“Punjab will go to polls in February. Results will be announced in March. We will sit with farmers to work out expenditure incurred on crops. By April 30, crop loss compensation will be credited to the account of each affected farmer and labourer. All you need to do is vote for us and we will deliver on our promise,” the Delhi CM said, adding his government changed the face of the schools and hospitals in Delhi and will change “the kheti of Punjab” too. “We will make agriculture a profession of dignity. We will make it profitable”.
He said when the AAP government was formed in Delhi, it gave farmers more than their cost of production. While farmers said the cost of production was Rs 18,000 per acre, his government gave Rs 20,000, he said while interacting with farmers whose cotton crop has been damaged in the pink bollworm attack.
Farmers in Punjab are demanding a compensation of Rs 60,000 per acre. Delhi government is offering Rs 50,000 per acre compensation to farmers. While interacting with Delhi CM, farmer Gurtej Singh from Bhadaur area of Barnala district highlighted the difference and asked Kejriwal to spell out his plan for the state. Another farmer Amanpreet Singh said, “If you want Punjab’s smoke should not reach Delhi, then provide us solution to stubble burning. Also, a doctor’s son becomes a doctor. An engineer’s son becomes an engineer. But farmers are not encouraging their children to do farming. When will farming become a profession of dignity?”
Kejriwal said his party will work on all aspects. He said problems related to adulterated milk, animal insurance and stubble will be solved. “Stubble would be used for power, cardboard and agro-based industries and DAP fertiliser factories, which would also provide employment to the youth of Punjab. Agriculture and all related occupations will be made profitable,” he said.
Original Aam Aadmi
Hitting out at Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Kejriwal said he was quick to have his pictures clicked with farmers who suffered losses due to pink bollworm attack but failed to give them the due compensation. Taking a dig at Channi’s statement where in the Punjab CM said that he was an aam aadmi (a common man), Kejriwal said, “Aam aadmi ki nakal karna aasan hai, amal karna mushkil hai (it is easy to copy a common man, but difficult to emulate him)”. Addressing the farmers in Mansa, he said, “When the original aam aadmi is before you, why vote for the duplicate”.
State AAP president Bhagwant Mann said the only issue before him was that of the farmers, “their problems, ho to stop them from committing suicides, and to think how farming can become pride of Punjab”.
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