Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh expressed disappointment over what he claimed was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “failure to address” any major concern of the farmers at his Malout rally on Wednesday.
He also lashed out at the Akalis for “betraying” the state by allowing Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to be present on the occasion.
“The distressed farmers who had gathered to hear Modi found no succour for their problems in his long speech, which was high on fluff and short of substance,” said the Punjab chief minister, expressing shock that Modi “failed to even make a mention” of farmer suicide, debts or the Swaminathan Report.
And to rub salt on the farmers’ wounds, the Badals, instead of using the opportunity to fight for Punjab’s rights on the water and SYL issues, shared the dais with Haryana CM Khattar, who was actively working against the interests of our state, Amarinder Singh claimed.
In a statement, the chief minister said the rally turned out to be a “sorry spectacle” for the farmers, who braved the sweltering heat in the hope of concrete announcements.
“Instead, Modi’s speech turned out to be an insipid affair, focused on tom-tomming his government’s four-year rule, which has been a complete failure on all counts,” he said.
The CM said it was unfortunate that Modi had let go of such a major opportunity to address the serious concerns of the farming community.
If he really wanted to thank farmers for contributing to the nation’s green revolution and for continuing to feed millions of Indians day after day, Modi should have come out with some concrete announcements on the critical issues of farm loan waiver and ‘in toto’ implementation of the MS Swaminathan report, said Amarinder Singh.
In his zeal to criticise the Congress, Modi had conveniently forgotten that it was this party that was responsible for ushering in the green revolution and ensuring the country’s food security, the CM said.
He (Modi) should have had the decency to at least acknowledge that it was Congress which waived the loans of the farmers while his government has completely failed to provide them with relief from their massive debts, Amarinder Singh said.
He claimed farmers were struggling to make both ends meet yet the Prime Minister did not find it necessary to even make a reference to their problems.
The chief minister also came down heavily on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for “betraying Punjab” by letting Khattar participate in the rally.
Considering Khattar’s stand on SYL and Punjab water, the Akalis should have not let him be a part of the event in the first place or should have used the opportunity to corner him over these important issues, which are vital for Punjab and its farmers, said Amarinder Singh.
He attacked SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal for not pursuing Punjab’s demand for Chandigarh with Modi.
Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has passed several resolutions on the issue in the past but by failing to take up the matter with the PM, the Akalis have proved those resolutions were political gimmickry aimed at garnering votes, Amarinder Singh said.
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