Union minister of state for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri today asked the Congress government to depute extra staff in grain markets to ensure speedy procurement as well as timely lifting of wheat food grains, saying the ‘anndaata’ should not be allowed to suffer in ‘mandis’.Addressing a well attended enthusiastic worker meeting here accompanied with former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the union minister said he was pained at the suffering of the Punjab farmer. He said the economic condition of the Punjab farmer deteriorated immediately after the Congress government took over the reins of the State two years back. He said farmers, who were promised a complete Rs 90,000 crore loan waiver, stopped paying loan installments and became defaulters. “After this started the vicious cycle of ‘kurki’ and suicides which have seen around 1,000 farmers take their lives in Punjab in utter despair after being abandoned by the Congress government”.Stating that the farm sector in Punjab was in the midst of a severe crisis, Mr Puri said the Congress government was unable to even ensure payment of dues to sugarcane farmers. “The potato produce of farmers was also allowed to rot in the fields for want of buyers with the Congress government refusing to come to their aid”.
The union minister said “even now I am getting complaints that award for one year old crop damage is yet to be received by farmers”. He said even now when procurement of paddy was the biggest task of the State government, farmers were suffering because of tardy procurement, unavailability of gunny bags and even lack of basic facilities like drinking water and sheds at grain markets.Speaking on the occasion, former minister Bikram Majithia appealed to the people to support S Hardeep Singh Puri to fast track development in Amritsar parliamentary constituency. He said Mr Puri was known as a development man who was not only successful in planning but also execution of all projects of his ministry. He said the union Housing ministry had done yeoman work to provide housing for the poor during NDA tenure. “Amritsar needs pro-poor and pro-farmer representative at this juncture”.Mr Majithia also reminded the people that if they reposed their faith in the BJP candidate they would be electing a minister in the union government. “We all know how a Union minister can change the face of his constituency by dint of his hard work”. He said a vote for Mr Puri would also be a vote for development. “Let us all join hands to make Mr Puri successful in the interest of Guru ki Nagri”, he added.