DW BUREAU / Phagwara
Slamming Punjab Congress President and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar for his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led Union Government, party National Secretary Tarun Chugh on Friday asked the PPCC chief why did he not utter a single word regarding farmer suicides in Punjab.
In a statement here, while questioning Mr Jakhar’s silence on the issue of betrayal of farmers by Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government during his maiden speech in the Lok Sabha, Mr Chugh said the speech of the Congress MP was nothing short of adding insult to the injury.
He reminded Mr Jakhar that Congress came to power on the basis of false promises of waiving off Rs 90,000 crore of farm loan.
Speaking on the farmers’ issue in Parliament could be a welcome step, but ignoring the betrayal of Congress government in Punjab and the rising number of farmer suicides has exposed the shallowness of Congress as a party and Mr Jakhar as a leader, the BJP Secretary pointed out.
Mr Chugh reminded Mr Jakhar that more than 300 farmers have committed suicides since Congress came to power in the state as the ryots were feeling cheated and disappointed due to the false promises, which were unlikely to be honoured.
He said the PPCC chief should have checked facts before speaking on the subject. Keeping in view the promises made, the Modi government had taken concrete steps to double the income of farmers, the BJP National Secretary pointed out.
He reminded Mr Jakhar that UPA government allocated Rs 1,21,082 crore as Agriculture Budget during 2009 to 2014, while the Modi government has till now made budgetary provisions to the tune of Rs 2,11,694 crore, which was 74.5 per cent more as compared to Dr Manmohan Singh’s government.
He said the BJP-led government has announced and initiated steps to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission.
Asking the Gurdaspur MP to concentrate on the plight of Punjab farmers and urge the ruling government to do something to stop the peasant suicides, Mr Chugh said the Modi government has allocated Rs 13,748 crore more than the last UPA government under various heads, which include crop insurance,
irrigation, soil testing, farm implements, dairy development and others.
Modi government has also made a budgetary provision of Rs 500 crore for ‘Operation Green,’ which would directly benefit the farmers growing potatoes, tomatoes and onion.