Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab unit President and Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann has accused the Modi government at the Center of destabilization the agriculture sector in Punjab, bequeathing it to certain corporate houses, like the Ambanis and Andanis, taking both Captain and the Badals affront for their alleged role in the botch-up.Bhagwant Mann, while addressing the media in Chandigarh on Tuesday, described the decisions announced by the Union government to reboot the country’s staggering economy, which was hit hard during the Corona-induced lockdown, as a great betrayal with the poor, a curse for farmers and farm labourers and a boon for the select corporate houses.Bhagwant Mann said that according to the federal structure, the Modi government had outsmarted the Congress in divesting the states of their legitimate rights, saying that the Akali Dal (Badal), which had been the ‘messiahs’ of the farmers, had bartered the rights of Punjab and Punjabis with their alliance partners, apparently to protecting the ministerial berth of Harsimrat Kaur. Mann asked the Badals why were they maintaining a stoic silence when the established marketing system of Punjab and Haryana, considered to be the best in the world, was being abolished under the slogan of ‘one market and one nation’, allowing private players gaining entry into Punjab's mandis. Why didn’t Harsimrat Kaur Badal as minister protest against the anti-Punjab move?
Bhagwant Mann said that while the Modi government, which had since started the process of abolishing Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, the Agriculture Cluster (Agriculture Zones) had also been set up in the state of Punjab, saying If the Modi government was not stopped from taking such fatal steps, the move would, surely than not, ruin the small-time, medium farmers, farm laborers, ‘artiyas’, palledars (Mandi labourers) transporters for sure.He cautioned that even the billions of rupees going to state exchequer by way of market fees would go straight into the pockets of corporate houses. Expressing his apprehension, Mann said that through the agriculture cluster formula, the Ambanis and Adanis and other corporate players would ‘grab’ over 500-500 or 1000-1000 acres of land from all categories of farmers on lease for 21-21 or 31-31 years, rendering all of them landless.The AAP MP said that by delisting most of the agricultural commodities from the list of essential commodities, the Union government had given legal leeway to corporate families and moneylenders to hoard, saying the poor consumer and the farmers would have to pay heavy price for these anti-people decisions by the Modi government.Mann said that under the guise of corona virus pandemic, the Modi government had taken 80 per cent of the decisions on its own, which required statutory approval of Parliament, adding that during the Corona epidemic-triggered lockdown, the poor, laborers and farmers desperately needed hard cash to buy essentials, but finance minister Nirmala Sita Raman's announcements brought no relief to the poor. They were left to fend for themselves in this hour of distress, saying that the candid pictures of thousands of migrant workers walking thousands of kms on foot to their home towns, fatigued and famished, told the story of the trauma they had to live through.Others who were present on the occasion included state treasurer and core committee member Sukhwinder Sukhi, senior leaders Narinder Singh Shergill, Sandeep Singla and party spokesperson Govinder Mittal