Chandigarh, Jan 13: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President and Gurdaspur MP Mr. Sunil Jakhar today dared SAD (Shiromani Akali Dal) to come clean on their stand over waiving of farmers’ debts.
Referring to SAD delegation meeting Governor on farmers’ debts waiver scheme, Jakhar questioned what prevented Akalis from waiving off the debts during ten-year regime in the state? “If at all they were sincere to debt-ridden farmers, let them approach the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi as the NDA government, of which SAD is also a constituent, to get all kind of debts written off. For the past three years, the SAD leaders failed to take up the issue with Center despite of suicides committed by hundred of farmers in Punjab which is known as grain-bowl for the nation, he said.
Recalling that the Parkash Singh Badal led government had passed the ‘Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtness Bill, 2016’ in March 2016, Jakhar said the so-called “saviors of farmers” later preferred to dump the same in cold store. Their government failed in constituting district and state level agricultural debt settlement forums. After about six months in September 2016, Akali government appointed District Agricultural Debt Settlement Forum chairman only in five districts out of 22 districts, but that emerged as another eyewash exercise since no staff was provided, further process too came to a grinding halt, he added.
He said that the lackluster approach of the Akali Dal regarding farmer’s debt revealed that for SAD leaders, farmers are only vote bank for them and nothing need to be actually done for them. Now when the Captain Amarinder Singh led government was waiving the debt, the SAD was misleading the farmers. However, Mr. Jakhar said that wise farmers now understand the double standards of the Akali Dal and they know that the Punjab government will fulfill their promise of economic agrarian progress.
Jakhar said that if the debts of the needy farmers are being waived by Punjab Government then why are the Akalis now opposing this welcome step. Until now the Opposition claimed that the government was not going to waive off the debts. Now when the process of has started in a phased manner, then the Akali Dal chose to misguide the farmers.
He Jakhar said that SAD is the partner with ruling NDA in the center and it should be clear whether they want a debt waiver of the farmers or not. Mr. Jakhar said that the Akali Dal-backed central government did not spend a penny for the farm loan waiving proposals in the last three years. The Captain government has initiated a debt waiver process.
Jakhar further said that the Ranjit Singh Commission is investigating the incident of sacrileges but even before the submission of report by Commission, the Akali Dal had started demanding probe by judges of Apex Court. Why the SAD leadership was afraid of the probe, he asked. “In fact Akalis were left with no issue to raise, they have started questioning the judicial process, which was unfortunate,” he observed.