Punjag govt failed to compensate cotton growers for crop loss: AAP

  • | Friday | 22nd October, 2021

Chandigarh, Oct 22 (PTI) AAP leader Raghav Chadha on Friday accused Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi of indulging in just photo opportunities, saying his government failed to compensate the farmers whose cotton crop was destroyed due to a pest attack. "Channi believes in lights, camera, but no action,” he said. Reacting to the AAP’s leader’s remarks, Channi exhorted the cotton growers "not to be misled by false propaganda unleashed by the opposition parties". Channi in a statement said the state government has interests of farmers at its heart and protecting them is an article of faith for the government. Cotton crop on more than one lakh hectares was destroyed due to the pest attack, Chadha told reporters here. Chadha said Channi had nearly a month ago met the affected farmers in Bathinda region and promised them that the state government would compensate them for the damage caused to the cotton crop due to the pest attack. "During his visit, he told farmers at Kartar Singh Wala village that the government will compensate those who suffered crop loss on account of the pest attack but a month has passed now, no farmer has got compensation," he claimed. The chief minister did not honour his promise made to the farmers with whom he got pictures clicked, which were later used by the government for publicity purposes across the state to give an impression that the present dispensation was farmer-friendly, the AAP leader alleged. During the AAP leader"s press conference, Chadha repeatedly referred to Channi as a “dramebaaz chief minister” who only likes the camera glare and the limelight without delivering on ground. “Dramebaaz CM got himself photographed with a farmer, Balwinder Singh Khalsa. He advertised this photo throughout Punjab but even Khalsa did not get any compensation. Another hoarding put up across the state on bus shelters, in buses shows a picture of farmer Harpreet Singh. His crop was also damaged but no compensation was paid to him too. Both these farmers, like several others, feel cheated and used,” he said. The chief minister is only using photos clicked with affected farmers from Punjab to garner votes. He said there was nothing new in “false promises” made by the Congress leaders and referred to Channi and his predecessor Amarinder Singh as "Bobbsey Twins", characters of a children"s novel. "When Amarinder Singh was chief minister he ran a campaign saying loans of all farmers will be waived. He too got a picture clicked with farmer Budh Singh of Gurdaspur, who had Rs 2.5 lakh loan but his loan was not waived,” Chadha said. AAP demands that the government should not use farmers for photoshoots but give compensation, he said. The AAP demands Rs 75,000 per acre compensation to the farmers whose crop was affected by pink bollworm attack, he said. “Farmers of Punjab are not a commodity that their photos will be exhibited to catch votes,” said Chadha, upping the ante against the government ahead of the assembly polls early next year. Meanwhile, according to the official statement, Channi has asked deputy commissioners of the affected districts to send a complete report by October 29 so as to disburse compensation at the earliest to the farmers. The chief minister has asked the cotton growers to be rest assured as the state government is “fully committed” to stand by them at this critical juncture. Financial Commissioner, Revenue, V K Janjua has apprised the Chief Minister that the assessment of loss to the cotton crop is already under way and due compensation would be distributed shortly to the affected farmers, the statement said. He said after receiving rough estimates of the loss and preliminary reports, a "special girdawari" to assess the exact loss to cotton crop has already been ordered in five districts where loss to cotton crop was reported by the deputy commissioners concerned. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK

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