Hoshiarpur: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday said that rather than directing the state government to make direct payment to farmers, the Centre must focus on lifting, storage and movement of food grains from Punjab for the welfare of the peasantry.
Badal told reporters that the Centre had hardly done anything for safeguarding the interests of the beleaguered farmers of the state due to which the food growers have been left at the mercy of the Union government.
He said it was a paradox that farmers of the state who had played a pivotal role in making the country self-reliant in food production have been reduced to the position of beggars due to the "anti-farmer stance" of the Centre.
Badal said since Punjab was serving the needs of the country regarding food grain production, it was the utmost duty of the Centre to ensure adequate facilities of storage and timely movement of the food grains.
He said the movement of grains was to be carried out by the railways which were under the absolute control of Centre but as they have failed to perform their duty the situation has worsened.
Badal dubbed it as "part of the conspiracy of the Union government to derail the development of the state by ruining agriculture which is the back bone of its economy."