Chandigarh May 28, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal President Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal today lashed out against the Punjab government for its new move on the abolition of free power on the pretext of replacing it with Direct Benefit Transfer and said that the move ‘is merely a curtain raiser for the total abolition of the free power facility for farmers which had been introduced by the Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP government in 1997 as a fulfillment of one of the key promises of the Alliance partners in their assembly poll manifesto in February that year.
“ This is midsummer madness by the Congress rulers in the state and a shocking and murderous assault on the already beleaguered peasantry. It really amounts to hanging the farmers in public squares in broad daylight. Here is the betrayal of Punjabis on yet another one of the ’solemn’ promises made under oath of the sacred Sikh scriptures by Captain Amarinder Singh before the Assembly poll, 2017,” said the Akali chief.
Referring to the so-called Direct Benefit Transfer policy, Mr Badal said,” DTH actually means that meters will now be installed on farmers’ tube wells and they will be forced to pay the bills. As for the promised refund later, we all know the record of this government which has failed to pay even medical and TA bills and often faulted on even the salaries of its own employees. Who can trust this government’s word on reimbursement to the farmers in the name of Direct Benefit transfer (DBT )?” he asked.
Mr Badal declared that the SAD will not remain a mute witness to this ‘grave blow against our suffering peasantry’. “ The government will have to continue with free power in its present form or be ready to face popular wrath against it ,” declared the Akali president.
Mr Badal has convened an emergency meeting of the SAD Core Committee on May 30 in Chandigarh to consider the party’s course of action to save the Punjab farmers from this lethal attack by the Congress government.
“It is unbelievable that instead of coming forth with some positive measures to help the farmers who are already reeling under the impact of adverse market conditions and of the serious economic fall out of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Punjab Council of Ministers has delivered them this lethal blow ,” said Mr Badal.
The Akali president said that this was not the first time that the Congress rulers in the state is back-stabbing the poor, innocent and suffering farmers of the state. “In their earlier tenure from 2002 to 2007 also, they had actually abolished the free power facility and the SAD and the farmers of the state had to launch an agitation to force the government to resume it.
But they have never given up on their conspiracies to kill the farmers by withdrawing the only help which the state government is giving to them, thanks to the pro-farmer vision of Sardar Parkash Singh Badal,” said the former Deputy CM
Mr Badal said that it was well known that there are elements in the Congress party who have always actively advocated against free power to farmers. “But the SAD has always stood like a rock with our farmers. We will do exactly that now too. We warn the government to shelve the move or be ready to face people’s anger ,” said Mr Badal.