The Punjab unit of the BJP today said 237 farmers have committed suicide during the past six months in the state, blaming the Amarinder Singh government for not fulfilling its promises, including full loan waiver. Union minister and Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla stated that the BJP is willing to provide the names and addresses of these suicide victims if the government wants.
Sampla was reacting to the statement of Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh wherein he had said that the opposition was indulging in “false propaganda” over the issue of farmers. Amarinder had also rubbished the opposition claims that the suicide cases by farmers in the state had doubled since the Congress government announced farm loan waiver in June. Two days ago, Amarinder had assured that the notification to formally implement the waiver would be issued shortly.
The Punjab Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Amarinder Singh, here gave its approval to notify the crop loan waiver scheme announced by the chief minister in the state assembly in June this year.
“You (Amarinder Singh) promised full loan waiver…you made the farmers fill the forms for loan waiver, you gave the slogan of ‘karza-kurki khatam, fasal ki puri rakam’, you said in your first Cabinet meeting that you will fulfill your promises within a month, and now when six months have passed we are reminding you of your promises, and you say that we are playing politics?,” Sampla said.
The state BJP chief said that the farmers were committing suicides because Congress government had allegedly not fulfilled its promises made to the farmers before the polls. Questioning the intentions of Amarinder-led Congress government, Sampla said, “one can understand that the chief minister was unable to announce a full loan waiver for farmers owing to the poor financial situation, however, why are those pre-poll promises not being fulfilled which don’t put a considerable burden on the exchequer?”
“Natural calamity compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre, Rs 10 lakhs compensation to the family of a farmer committing suicide plus a job, handing subsidies directly into farmers’ accounts, creation of a price stabilisation fund, and Rs 5 lakh life and health insurance for every farmer – these are some of the promises which still remain unfulfilled,” Sampla said in a statement here.
Earlier, AAP’s Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann said before coming to power, Amarinder’s party went to every household in Punjab and gave written assurances to farmers and farm labourers that their outstanding agriculture loans would be waived, including those from public sector banks, cooperative banks or commissioned agents.
Mann had alleged that once in power, the Congress did not fulfill the promises made to the farmers. Amarinder had said earlier while his government did not want to engage with either the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the numbers game on such a critical issue, he would not allow these parties to harm the interests of the farmers with their “false and motivated propaganda”.