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Punjab splurging RDF on ‘royal expenses’, encouraging urban naxals in name of farm stir, says BJP

The BJP accused the Congress government of “blatantly encouraging urban naxals” in the state in the garb of supporting the ongoing farmers’ agitation against central agri laws.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: October 28, 2020 10:48:19 pm
farm laws, farmers protest, farmers protest, punjab farmers, punjab bjp congressProtesting farmers during a "Chakka jam" against farm bills. (Express Photo by Gurmeet Singh/File)

Sharpening its attack on the ruling Congress in Punjab, the BJP Wednesday accused the Capt Amarinder Singh government of spending the Rural Development Fund (RDF) allocated by the Centre on “royal expenditures”.

It also accused the Congress government of “blatantly encouraging urban naxals” in the state in the garb of supporting the ongoing farmers’ agitation against central agri laws.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh demanded the details of the usage of the RDF.

“Capt Amarinder should give the details of the usage of RDF in the state because the Centre wants that these funds should only be used in rural areas and not misused for buying fancy vehicles or financing other fads of ministers,” said Chugh.

Chugh alleged that there has been large scale “bungling” of RDF by the Punjab government. “Modi government has given these funds to be spent on development of villages by building roads there, improving sanitation conditions etc. But Congress has been splurging this money for financing the royal expenditures of the Punjab government,” he added.

The senior BJP leader said that the RDF has not been stopped by the Centre but “it will be ensured that the amount is only spent on development of the villages and not elsewhere”.

Chugh added that the industry in Punjab suffered a lot due to Coronavirus pandemic but now the “pro urban naxal policies of the Congress government” in state is demoralising the industry and pushing away new investors.

Sukhbir to Centre: Don’t block RDF, stop victimising farmers over protests

“The centre wants to re-start railway freight services and there are 200 rakes on the standby but the Capt Amarinder government is not issuing the no objection certificate for security. Railway guards and drivers are not willing to operate trains in Punjab without a NoC. Industries in Punjab are losing Rs 1500 crore per day due to this,” Chugh added.

Earlier, BJP president JP Nadda claimed that the Congress and some other parties were opposing the agriculture laws “purely for political reasons”.

Delivering the first Kamal Sharma memorial lecture virtually, Nadda said the Congress in Punjab was, in fact, opposing the commitments it had made in its 2017 election manifesto that had now been implemented by the Modi government.

“The Congress had promised to do away with mandis and promote contract farming and this is what the Modi government’s laws have ensured. Will Congress say that it made wrong promises in its manifesto?”, Nadda asked.

“In Punjab, farmers cannot sell their produce beyond the mandis in the districts, they cannot even change their stockists. Modiji has given freedom to them from these restrictions,” he said.

Many politicians, who established themselves as farmer leaders, paid only “lip service” to farmers, the BJP chief alleged. “They did nothing to change the fate or condition of farmers. It was only Prime Minister Modi in independent India, who transformed and changed the fate of the country’s farmers,” he said.

Nadda slammed the Congress for its opposition to laws that will “reform” the farm sector, saying “while opposing Modi, it has got down to opposing the country and farmers”.

Nadda said the UPA government failed to implement the Swaminathan Commission report. “The Modi government not only implemented the suggestions made in the report but also promised farmers one-and-a-half times the price of their input cost for a crop,” he added.

Earlier paying tributes to Kamal Sharma, Nadda urged party leaders to reach out to rural areas in order to make the saffron party “number one” in Punjab. “We need to resolve to make the BJP the number one party in Punjab, recognise our strength, get together with people sharing our ideologies and go to the rural areas,” he said.

The people of Punjab like the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and want to spread the saffron party’s ideology in the state, Nadda said.

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