Congress pushed peasants into debt-trap: Badal

The anti-farmer approach of Congress-led UPA government has pushed the peasantry of Punjab deep into debt-trap, CM Parkash Singh Badal alleged.

Chandigarh: The anti-farmer approach of Congress-led UPA government has pushed the peasantry of Punjab deep into the vicious circle of debt-trap, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday alleged and appealed to overthrow the UPA government in the forthcoming general elections.

"Today agriculture was no longer a profitable profession because of its low returns, and has become non-remunerative and stagnated business," Badal said.

Badal was addressing a gathering at a function held at Sunam Udham Singh Wala to pay tributes to Shaheed Udham Singh on his 73rd martyrdom day.

Despite this scenario, the Centre has always adopted an anti-farmer approach while fixing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for various crops, the chief minister said.

"The states should not have to beg for remunerative MSP for their produce rather Centre should evolve a permanent solution either by linking MSP with the Consumer Price Index or implementing the recommendations of eminent farm economist M S Swaminathan that advocates MSP should be equal to the cost of production plus its 50 per cent," he said.

Centre had never been serious about the peasantry of Punjab and pushed it deep into the vicious circle of debt trap, he alleged.

The chief minister alleged that the UPA had failed on all fronts an its reverse countdown had begun.

"To ensure justice and equality for every citizen besides ensuring sustainable development in economic, agriculture, industrial sectors, people of Punjab must pave a way for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to form next government in the Centre," he said.

Badal listed steps taken by his government to construct martyrs` memorials in different parts of the state including a Freedom Martyrs` Memorial (Jang-e-Azadi) at a cost of Rs 100 crore that would be set up at Kartarpur.

"These memorials would also inspire our future generations and inculcate the values of patriotism and nationalism in them," he said.

Badal said that he also plans to visit places like Cellor prison at Andaman and Nicobar, museums at Hyderabad and Delhi in coming days in connection with construction of Kartarpur memorial.

Regarding the power shortage faced by the state due
to deficit monsoon, the chief minister said that he had already contacted the Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and urged him to immediately allocate 1,000 MW additional power to Punjab from Central quota, especially for enabling the farmers to cope with the drought like situation.

"The State has changed the timings of the offices (from tomorrow) in the state and banned of use of Air Conditioners in the government offices as corrective measures to save power in this difficult hour of crisis," he said.

He also said the SAD-BJP government had already taken steps to make Punjab self sufficient in power sector as work to generate 4620 MW additional power at Talwandi Sabo, Goindwal Sahib and Rajpura thermal plants was going on at war footing.

Punjab`s Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa also spoke on the occasion.
On the occasion, Badal honoured the decedents of Shaheed Udham Singh, and Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal of UK for launching ROKO cancer mobile checkup vans.