Procurement of paddy in Punjab: AAP to keep watchful eye on government-sponsored ‘Mandi’ mafia: Bhagwant Mann

Chandigarh, September 3, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state President and Sangrur Member of Parliament (MP) Bhagwant Mann has expressed his grave concern over the poor paddy procurement arrangements by the Captain Amarinder Singh government in the state, saying it always kept the process low-profile for the benefit of ‘mandi’ mafia which was flourishing under its protective patronage.

Holding the state government responsible for the chaos and mismanagement due to the high-end corruption virus running from top to bottom in the official machinery, Mann said that the government-sponsored ‘Mandi’ Mafia’ lording over the entire procurement process, had set up their ‘traps’ to harass and ‘loot’ the innocent farmers, transporters and the working class, stating that this time around, the AAP would expose all those behind the blatant ‘loot’ and blackmailing and bullying of farmers.

In a statement issued from the party headquarters on Tuesday, Bhagwant Mann said that according to information pouring in from various part of Punjab, the Sheller owners, transporters and labor class were a worried lot seeing the advance procurement arrangements of paddy in the state. He added that if they (seller owners, transports and labour class), touted to be the backbone of lifting and storage of paddy were put to harassment in any form, the farmers would be the worst sufferers who would be left to fend for themselves for the Himalayan botch up on the part of the government , saying

It was well-knit chain of ‘mandi’ mafia and the corrupt government officials, who had been blackmailing the Sheller owners, ‘arhtiyas’, farmers, labourer class, every year the process of paddy procurement kicks off, citing damp or discoloured seeds forcing farmers to sell their produce at much less the MSP or charging hefty commission per bag from the farmers.

Mann said that, like the previous Badal government, the Captain Amarinder Singh Government in the state too had been playing its old card as was detrimental to the largest rice mill industry in Punjab, saying the policy in this respect, which was announced in the first week of August every year, had yet to be announced by his government.

Elaborating more on the issue, Mann lamented that the rice lifting work in the shellers was quite slow. So far, on an average, 10 per cent of the space had not been cleared this year as against 40 per cent of the space which used to get clear by August-end every year. Mann said government warehouses were also in a bad shape and so were the other infra and arrangements, which was attributable to the weakened Captain’s Government.

The AAP leader said that his party, being the principle opposition party, would keep a close watch on the ‘Mandi Mafia’ and nefarious activity this time. Calling upon the rice shellers, transporters, ‘arhtiyas’, peasants unions and labourer class, Mann said he and his party would always remain accessible to them so as to give tough fight to this government-sponsored mafia calling the shots in the state under its protective political patronage.

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