Captain Amarinder Singh’s fourth month as Chief Minister of Punjab has spelt doom for farmers, Panthic principles and parliamentary traditions. These remarks were made by Vice-president, Bharatiya Janata Party, Punjab, Harjit Singh Grewal and State Secretary Vineet Joshi here today as they released the report card of Captain’s fourth month in office. “While the Chief Minister betrayed the farmers by not waiving off their loans even after making an announcement during the Budget Session, the Co-operative societies and small banks have come on the verge of being shut down as they haven’t received back the loan amounts either from the government or the farmers. Meanwhile, the weather has played havoc with farmers as thousands of acres of farmland lies submerged under water,” said the BJP leaders.Backing out from his promise of full loan waiver, first Capt. Amarinder Singh announced a partial loan waiver in the Vidhan Sabha and then Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal allocated a meager Rs 1500 crores in the Budget, but ever since the government hasn’t given anything in writing to the banks. Till the government gives it in writing to the banks, the loans don’t get waived off. Even Manpreet Badal has stated that this will take at least two months. Then why make fake announcements”, asked Grewal and Joshi.
Attacking the Chief Minister, BJP leaders said, “Over 129 farmers have committed suicide during Captain’s 120 days of rule. What is more disturbing is that after the CM made the announcement of partial loan waiver in the Assembly instead of full loan waiver, as promised by him during elections, 49 farmers have ended their lives. Citing the poor financial condition of the state, Captain has shown helplessness to waive off the loans in full, but what about such promises where huge finances are not involved. He had promised a compensation of Rs. 20,000 per acre in case of natural calamities, Rs. 10 Lakhs compensation and a job to a family member of the farmer who commits suicide, creation of a price stabilization fund and providing health and life insurance of Rs five Lakhs for farmers, but none of them have been fulfilled till now. Maybe the government doesn’t want to honour its promises. What reflects the anti farmer/ rural area intentions of the government is the fact that Amarinder government is planning to amend the Panchayati Raj Act, thereby withdrawing power to remove Sarpanchs or Panchs from Director Panchayts and according it to the Deputy Commissioners. This will be detrimental to the interests of farmers and villagers”.
They further said, “Destroying parliamentary traditions, the government didn’t allow the Opposition MLAs to speak and instead forcibly threw them out of the Vidhan Sabha. This incident also tore apart the Panthic principles as turbans, ‘Dastaars’ of MLAs came off and women MLAs had to face embarrassment”. “Sand mafia, liquor mafia, transport mafia, gangsters- all are having a free run in Captain’s rule. Atrocities were meted out on Dalits and Congress leaders are misusing local police to unleash political vendetta. Illegal sand mining continues unabated despite a ban and sand prices are touching the sky. Captain has made a U-turn on VIP culture and special number plates are being introduced for bureaucrats and ministers. It’s a new kind of VIP culture in the state”, they said. Grewal and Joshi said, “It would have been better if the government had removed ‘Referendum-2020’ hoardings before the BJP raised the issue. We demand that the remaining culprits should be arrested at the earliest. The state government needs to be watchful of anti-national forces and BJP is always with the Punjab government against such forces”.