The SAD - BJP today welcomed the decision of farmer organisations to call off their "rail roko" agitation and said it had created a congenial atmosphere for readdress all of all problems being faced by farmers in the State.Addressing a joint press conference at the Punjab Bhawan today, SAD MP Prem Singh Chandumajra and Senior BJP leader and cabinet minister Madan Mohan Mittal said the end of the rail roko agitation would provide succour to the common man who hd been severely inconvenienced for the past one week.Asserting that peace and communal harmony were of utmost importance, the leaders urged the farmer organisations to have trust in the government and jointly work with it to get all their pending issues resolved at the earliest.The SAD - BJP leaders also hailed chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for taking the initiative and holding direct talks with the farmer organisations which had led to several concessions besides an assurance to take up all pending issues with the central government.
Mr Chandumajra said it was decided that henceforth all crops would be considered for relief be it fruits, vegetables or even pulses besides food grain. He said the relief parameters had also been increased to take in climatic conditions, including fog. Besides this it was decided that compensation would be given to cultivators also henceforth and not only the land owners.The MP said it was also decided that a joint declaration of the SAD - BJP would meet the prime minister soon and apprise him about all the pending problems of the farming community.Mr Chandumajra disclosed that the chief minister had assured the organisations that all cases relating to farm labour including providing them housing and ensuring power connections to them would be taken up for redressal immediately. He said it was also decided that all old cases against farmer leaders would be reviewed and that surveys in case of suicide deaths would be conducted at a common meeting place in the village.Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, while appreciating the steps taken by the chief minister to mitigate the suffering of the farmers after damage to cotton due to white fly attack, said the relief of Rs 8,000 per acre which hd been given to farmers was the highest in the country. He also lauded the decision to urge the central government to form a Basmati Trading Corporation to ensure farmers get a fair price for their basmati crop.