Sangrur: Blaming Congress for "crisis" faced by Punjabi farmers in Gujarat, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday in 1973, the then Congress government had released a circular on the issue and now its leaders were shedding "crocodile tears" for the farmers.
"In 1973, Congress government in Gujarat had issued a circular that if any agriculturist from outside Gujarat purchases agricultural land in that state, he will be declared a non-agriculturist," Badal told reporters today.
He was speaking on the decision of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to evict around 1,000 Sikh families from Kutch region by invoking the Bombay-Vidharbha Tenancy Act.
Badal said the decision to freeze agricultural lands of Punjabi farmers was totally based on the circular issued by the then Congress government, but ironically instead of making any efforts to save the farmers of Gujarat, the Congress leadership was "shedding crocodile tears" over this matter.
"Congress has always been anti-farmers in general and anti-Punjab in particular," he said after administering oath to newly-elected Sarpanchs and Panchs of Sangrur district.
The Chief Minister alleged only Congress could formulate such anti-farmers laws whereas the Shiromani Akali Dal has always fought vehemently for safeguarding the interests of the farmers.
He said his party would fight for preserving the interest of Punjabi farmers of Gujarat.
Earlier, addressing a gathering during a function, Badal accused the Congress-led UPA government of ruining the farmers of the state.
He said Punjabi farmers had played a vanguard role in making the country self-reliant in food production, but the wrong policies of the Centre had put several burdens on them.
Badal said due to massive hike in agriculture inputs and lack of remunerative MSP, farming was no longer a profitable venture.