February 7, 2021 9:22:58 am
The Aam Aadmi Party Saturday pointed to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar’s statement in Parliament to attack both Congress and SAD for allegedly betraying farmers of the state. Tomar had on Friday compared provisions of the contract farming Act of Punjab with that of the Centre. He had said that while the Punjab Act provides a jail term for farmers violating the contract, the Centre’s Act penalises the traders.
Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Harpal Singh Cheema, Saturday said that the law referred to by Union Agriculture Minister originated in 2013 when SAD-BJP government in Punjab was headed by Parkash Singh Badal.
Cheema further said that when the Amarinder Singh government came to power in 2017, the present Congress government also took steps that were detrimental to farmers’ interests like amending the APMC Act.
“The APMC Act was amended during Captain Amarinder Singh’s government. Even then, the Aam Aadmi Party had played an important role in the opposition and had registered its objection to these laws,” he added.
He said that the statement of Agriculture Minister Tomar had exposed the “black record” of Parkash Singh Badal being anti-farmer.
According to Cheema, as per the 2013 Act, a farmer could be sentenced to one month imprisonment and a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 5 lakh for violating the rules of contract farming.
“Not only this, if the farmer makes a mistake again, the punishment will increase and the penalty too will rise,” he said.
Cheema said that while people of Punjab had made Parkash Singh Badal, the Chief Minister for five times, but now when the Modi government came up with these ‘black laws’ on agriculture, Badal only spoke once as part of the central government and praised the laws.
“After that he did not utter a single word in favour of the farmers. Parkash Singh Badal’s sharp silence shows that his heart is still beating for the BJP,” said Cheema.
He said that the same was the case with present Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who despite being a member of the High Powered Committee had not made the people of Punjab aware that such black farm laws were in the offing.
“Captain Amarinder did not even take up the issue with the Union government against these laws and is now pretending to be a big benefactor of the farmers,” he added.
BJP leader, FCI union leader join party
BJP Kisan Wing Kapurthala district president Baldev Singh, Food Corporation of India (FCI) Employees Union leader Satinder Singh Chattha, Bahujan Samaj Party leaders Bhola Singh and Lachhman Singh and social worker Simple Nair joined AAP at the party headquarters here.
Satinder Singh Chattha from Sangrur district is the All India president of the Executive Employees Union of the FCI. He has been working for the FCI since 1980. In 2016, he undertook a 24-day hunger strike to provide pension to the FCI employees.
Bhola Singh of Sangrur district was the candidate of BSP from Dhuri in the 2017 Assembly elections and Lachhman Singh was the general secretary of BSP in Sangrur district. Welcoming those who joined the party, Harpal Singh Cheema said that due to the pro-people policies of AAP, the party’s fleet was growing with a large number of people joining.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines