Updated: September 26, 2021 9:52:29 pm
A day after SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal visited Bathinda villages to assess the damage inflicted on cotton crop owing to the pink bollworm attack, newly appointed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his deputy Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa met farmers in the area.
The CM, who turned up with minimum security, was also repeatedly seen getting out of his car to meet farmers on the way. He also stopped to greet a newly married couple and gave them shagun.
In Katar Singh Wala village, the chief minister interacted with farmers and visited cotton fields. Expressing concern over the bollworm attack, he said, “We are not bothered about the money to be spent to save crops, but are committed to farmers. We will first use pesticides to control the spread of the disease and if nothing works out, we will compensate the farmers.”
Channi instructed agriculture officers to check the quality of the pesticide spray being used as farmers have complained that it wasn’t working on the pink bollworm. Badal had alleged that poor quality pesticides and seeds had been supplied to the farmers and sought an inquiry into the issue. The SAD chief said deputy CM Randhawa had earlier been involved in a seed scam and the issue wouldn’t have cropped up if it had been checked in time.
In Mandi Kalan village, Channi had his meal at the house of Natha Singh whose brother and farm labourer Sukhpal Singh died during the agitation against the farm laws at the Delhi border. The chief minister also handed over a job letter to Natha Singh. The administration had already handed over a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family. This is the first job letter given by the Punjab government to any farmer or farm labourer who died during the protest against the agricultural laws.
Paucity of time meant that Channi had to skip his planned visit to Cheema Kalan. Instead, administration officials visited the village and handed over a job letter to the family of another farm labourer.
“Channi is trying to project the image of an Aam Aadmi by eating at the homes of labourers, trying to be one among them. He will do many more things now to grab votes. It is a poll gimmick. Rahul Gandhi also does this, so does Raja Warring,” said Jagseer Singh Jhumba, a Bathinda-based farmer.
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