Chandigarh, September 21, 2021 (Yes Punjab News)
Expressing concern over the crop damage in the state due to pink bollworm infestation, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab MLA and Kisan Wing state president Kultar Singh Sandhwan and MLA Prof Baljinder Kaur demanded the new Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and the ruling Congress government to give 100 percent loss compensation to the affected farmers after a thorough assessment of entire cotton belt of Punjab.
They also demanded a high-level inquiry to be conducted under the supervision of the High Court regarding the variety of Bt cotton seeds and pesticides.
In a joint statement issued from the party headquarters here on Tuesday, Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Prof Baljinder Kaur said as the time for sowing cotton has ended and with new crop cannot be sown at this point of time; the government should compensate the farmers for the complete loss of the crop.
They alleged that this widespread attack of pink bollworm in Bathinda, Mansa, Sri Mukstar Sahib, Fazilka and other districts of the state was similar to the 2015 white fly pesticide scam of the Badal government. “The entire cotton crop of Malwa belt has been destroyed because of the negligence of the ruling government. The farmers have sprayed pesticide dozens of times so far, but the pink bollworm infestation is not ending,” they asserted.
On the variety of Bt cotton seeds and pesticides, the AAP leaders said that a high-level inquiry must be conducted under the supervision of the High Court. “This is another scam with the farmers due to which they have suffered financially and mentally. Just as the white fly destroyed the farming due to counterfeit medicines during the Badal government, today the pink bollworm is destroying the farming; which should be investigated in depth,” they said.
The AAP MLAs said the claims of the farmers that their crops were damaged under a conspiracy to suppress them in regard with the ongoing farmers’ movement cannot be ruled out. “It cannot be ruled out that this can be a plan to weaken the farmers by destroying their crops; so that they surrender to the corporate houses,” they added.
Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Prof Baljinder Kaur further demanded that assessment of the loss should be done by assuming per acre as one unit and compensation should be given to the affected farmers that stand out at minimum Rs 50,000 per acre land.
Taking a dig, the AAP leaders said that if stern action had been taken in the previous 2015 white fly incident during the Badal government; no one would have dared to commit such an act again.
The AAP leaders said the farmers of the state were already under debt and had committed suicides. “The Congress government should immediately intervene in the matter with full compensation of the loss. Also, a time-bound investigation in depth must be conducted in the matter with stern action against the culprits,” they added.