September 27, 2021 4:38:28 am
A DAY after SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal visited Bathinda villages to take stock of the pink bollworm attack on cotton crop, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his deputy Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa visited Bathinda villages to meet farmers.
Channi moved around with minimum security in the area. At Mandi Kalan village, he had a meal at the house of a farm labourer who had died during farm protests. He was seen frequently getting out of his vehicle to meet farmers on the way. He also stopped on the way to greet a newly married couple.
At Katar Singh Wala village, the CM interacted with farmers and visited their cotton fields. He expressed his concern over the pink bollworm attack on their crop. “We are not bothered about money to be spent to save crops, we are committed towards farmers. First of all, we will be using pesticides spray to control the spread of the disease and if nothing works out, we will compensate the farmers,” he said.
Channi instructed agriculture officers to check the quality of pesticide spray as farmers have raised allegations that the spray used by them wasn’t working on the pink bollworm. Sukhbir Badal had alleged that spurious quality pesticides and poor quality seeds were being supplied, and demanded an inquiry into the same. He even alleged that deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa was involved in a seeds scam earlier and had it been checked in time, this wouldn’t have happened.
Channi also visited village Mandi Kalan where apart from visiting the cotton fields he went to the house of farm labourer Sukhpal Singh, who had died at the Delhi borders while protesting against farm laws.
Channi met his brother Natha Singh and handed him a job letter, Rs 5 lakh compensation had already been given to him by the administration earlier. This is the first job letter given by the Punjab government to any farmer or farm labourer who died during protests against farm laws at the morcha sites within Punjab or its borders.
The CM was scheduled to visit one more village, Cheema Kalan, but couldn’t do so due to paucity of time. Hence, administration officials went to the village to hand over a job letter to yet another farm labourer’s family.
“Channi is trying to project an image of aam aadmi by eating at labourer’s houses, trying to be one among them. He will do a lot many things now to grab votes, it is a poll gimmick. Rahul Gandhi also does it, and so does Raja Warring,” said Jagseer Singh Jhumba, a Bathinda-based farmer.
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