The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has taken serious note of the inexplicable plight of the farmers in the state, accusing the previous BJP-SAD government and the current Congress-led government in the state, of heaping untold miseries on the farmers.
In a statement issued from party headquarters in Chandigarh, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, said that a large number of farmers in the state were subjected to suffer due to the ill-conceived policies of the government lording over the state for a long time now. Cheema said that while the farmers suffered the wrath of the rain gods in the recent past, they were left to face at the hands of the callous dispensation, which reined more miseries on them, Cheema lamented.
He alleged that due to the insensitivity of the government, harried farmers were left to suffer at the hands of the wily ‘arthiyas’ and purchase agency officials indulging in an open ‘loot’ of the charging ‘Gooda Tax’ without scantest fear of the law. They were facing a host of other problems during the procurement process at the designated ‘mandis’, adding that it was not for the first time they were faced with the problem. He said the government was always found wanting to ensure hassle-free and farmer-friendly procurement at the ‘Mandis’. A major chunk of ‘Mandis’ lacked basic amenities, like the provision of drinking water, board and lodging facilities, leaving the farmers rue.
The AAP leader said that the farming community had always been on the receiving end when it came to facilitating them to sell their produce at the ‘Mandis’, saying that Captain Government had always betrayed on its promises, be it farmer-friendly procurement provision, ensuring better MSP for their produce, getting rid of mediation by the unscrupulous element, et al, which, Cheema said, was the statutory duty of the government in the saddle.
Cheema demanded that the government should keep a constant vigil on the unholy nexus of purchase agencies and ‘arthiyas’ to ensure that farmers were harassed at their hands.
Cheema accused that the government of conniving with the middlemen to purchase their produce at a far low price which, he said, was a well thought-out design of the well-organized mafia, forcing them either to bear the brunt or sell their produce in the neighboring states at cheaper rates, a trend which was slowly catching up, Cheema rued.
He demanded that the state government led by Captain Amarinder Singh come up with concrete roadmap to address the issues and concerns that the distressed farmers are subjected to face year after year due to the lack of a long-term planning of the government.