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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Punjab: Farm labourers gherao Cong leaders in 17 places to protest inflated power bills, demand waiver of loans

Thursday's protests were organised by a joint front of several farm labour unions.

By: Express News Service | Ludhiana |
Updated: July 30, 2021 12:41:46 am
Farm lawsThe farm labour leaders accused the Congress government, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, of allocating only Rs 590 crore to waive loans raised from Cooperative Societies, instead of waiving the entire amount. (Express file photo by Gurmeet SIngh)

Thousands of farm labourers on Thursday fanned out across Punjab and staged dharnas in front of the residences of Congress ministers, legislators and MPs at 17 places to press for their demands of waiver of electricity bills, waiver of loans, and the repeal of amendments made to labour and agricultural laws. Thursday’s protests were organised by a joint front of several farm labour unions.

Issuing a statement on behalf of the union, Lachhman Singh Sewewala, the general secretary of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union said, ”We will step up our agitation and will organise a day-night dharna from August 9- August 11 in Patiala to press for all our demands.”

He added copies of their demands were shared with a number of ministers and legislators — including Gurpreet Singh Kangar, Revenue Minister from Rampura Phul, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot from Nabha, Raja Warring, the MLA from Gidderbaha, Nazar Singh Mansahia, MLA from Mansa, Hargurpartap Singh from Ajnala, Varinder Meet Singh from Gurdaspur, Navtej Singh Cheema from Sultanpur Lodhi, Surinder Singh Chaudhary from Kartarpur, Darshan Lal from Balachaur, Lakhwinder Singh Lodhinangal from Batala, Fatehjung Singh Bajwa from Quadian, Ramanjeet Singh Sikki from Khadoor Sahib, Dharamveer Agnihotri from Tarn Taran, and Santokh Singh from Baba Bakala.

The demonstrations at different places were addressed by Zora Singh Nasrali, president of Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Gurnam Singh Daud, general secretary of Dehati Mazdoor Sabha, and a few others.

The farm labour leaders accused the Congress government, led by Captain Amarinder Singh, of allocating only Rs 590 crore to waive loans raised from Cooperative Societies, instead of waiving the entire amount.

Nasrali said, “The government has sent inflated power bills to farm labourers in many villages and has also disconnected the power connections of those who couldn’t pay these bills.”

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