Strongly condemning the decision of the Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress government to force the farmers' co-operative societies to buy expensive fertilizers only from the Markfed; the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and Kisan Wing state president Kultar Singh Sandhwan and MLA Rupinder Kaur Ruby alleged that like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Captain government was bent on destroying the rural co-operative societies for the benefit of the corporate houses. Addressing the media during a press conference held here on Saturday, the AAP leaders said that the rural co-operative societies were formed with the financial support of the farmers and the general public, and with the help of the farmers; these societies became financially strong institutions. “Now the Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh wants to loot them through Markfed,” they added.Kultar Singh Sandhwan said that the co-operative societies independently procure urea and DAP from IFFCO and Markfed and distribute it to the farmers, which directly benefits the farmers and the societies financially; but now the Captain government had issued an order to end the independence of these co-operative societies. He said that the Captain government had issued orders to the co-operative societies to procure Urea and DAP fertilizers only from Markfed and had stopped procurement from IFFCO.
Sandhwan said that the co-operative societies procure a bag of urea from IFFCO at Rs 250 while they have to pay Rs 254.65 from Markfed and thus the farmers have to pay about Rs 5 more per bag. He said that similarly, IFFCO sells a bag of DAP for Rs 1,176, while Markfed sells it for Rs 1,182; for which the farmers have to pay an additional amount of Rs 6 per bag.Sandhwan further said that forcing the co-operative societies to procure fertilizers only from Markfed would put a burden of crores of rupees on the farmers, whereas the farmers were already burdened with debts. He said that at present the co-operative societies have an important role to play in saving the agriculture sector which was degrading, as the cooperative societies provide the required fertilizers and other inputs to the farmers at affordable prices. The AAP leaders demanded that the Punjab government should immediately withdraw the decision of forcing the cooperative societies to procure fertilizer only from Markfed and allow 50 per cent procurement of fertilizer from IFFCO. On the occasion, district president Bathinda Urban Neel Garg, district president Bathinda Rural Gurjant Singh Sivian, district general secretary Rakesh Puri, Legal Cell state vice president Navdeep Singh Jida, state joint secretary Anil Thakur, district treasurer ML Jindal, district media incharge Balkar Singh Bhokra, Youth Wing district president Amardeep Rajan, social media incharge Sukhvir Brar, Chiman Lal Happy, among others were present.