Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday lambasted Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal for demanding the doubling of the Rs 6,000 per annum relief announced for farmers by the Centre in the Union Budget.
Accusing Badal of “rubbing salt on the wounds of the farmers with his demand to double the ludicrous relief given to them by the Centre”, the Chief Minister accused him of shedding crocodile tears for the farming community now.
“Why he has not spoken up for the farmers all these years despite his SAD being a part of the ruling alliance at the Centre,” Amarinder asked Badal. “The Central government had already made a mockery of the farmers by announcing a meagre Rs 6,000 a year, which amounted to Rs 17 a day, to support them in distress,” the Chief Minister said in a statement here, adding that the SAD President had added to the “insult with his shameless demand”.
“Did he really believe a thousand rupees a month would help the beleaguered farmers, many of whom were being driven to suicide as a result of their massive debts, running into lakhs of rupees in several cases,” said Amarinder.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the previous SAD-BJP government had failed to give even a penny to the distressed farmers during the 10 years of their rule.
He said that his government had already waived off over Rs 4,514 crore of loans of 5.63 lakh small and marginal farmers in Punjab under the loan waiver scheme.
He said that Badal was showing fake concern for the farmers now.