Amarinder writes open letter to Modi over Punjabi farmers in Gujarat

Last Updated: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 21:04

Amritsar: Ahead of Narendra Modi`s visit to Punjab, Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Thursday wrote an open letter to him asking about steps taken by his government to stop eviction of Punjabi farmers from Gujarat`s Kutch region.

He reminded Modi of the promise he had made to the people of the state that Punjabi farmers in Gujarat will not be forced to leave. Singh said that Modi "has not done anything" about it so far.

On February 23, while addressing a rally in Jagraon area of Punjab, Modi had said, "It is a deliberate misinformation being spread by people with vested interests. No Sikh farmer will be evicted from Gujarat. If any officer tries to do that, that officer will no longer be around."

"In the rally, you had publicly committed, albeit vaguely, that nobody will be forced out of Gujarat," Singh said on the eve of Modi`s visit to Amritsar.

Farmers from Punjab and Rajasthan were settled in Kutch after 1965 war. About three years ago, the Kutch Collector invoked the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act of 1948 and froze the accounts of several non-Gujarati farmers.

The farmers approached Gujarat High Court, which ruled against the Collector`s action.

However, the Gujarat government decided to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court.

"Everybody in Punjab assumed that your government will withdraw the appeal against the Gujarat High Court verdict that goes in their favour. Till now, your government has not done anything, not taken any initiative which could reveal your sincerity in meeting that commitment.

This is also very important for your credibility since you are dreaming too big," Singh said.
Questioning Modi`s stand on Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, he said, "I just wanted to know from you whether you are coming here to give your stamp of approval to Bikram`s goonda raj and all that he is notorious and stands for, particularly criminalising politics in Punjab, particularly in Amritsar".

He also questioned Jaitley`s "blurred vision" of Amritsar inherent with so many contradictions.
Singh is facing Jaitley in Amritsar constituency.

"With Bikram Majithia, who is openly patronising drugs and criminals, being his Man Friday and campaign manager, how can Jaitley visualise of a drug free and crime free Amritsar?" he asked.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 21:04

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