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Capt Amarinder says no matter how much vendetta Badals resort to Congress stands firm

PATTI (TARN TARAN), September 2: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today said that no matter how much vendetta the Akalis resort to, the Congress workers were firm in their resolve to fight against all odds. He said, nothing was going to deter them from standing up against the government no matter to what extent the government unleashed its vendetta.

Addressing a largely attended public meeting organised by the Punjab Congress Secretary and local party candidate Harminder Gill, Capt Amarinder said, this government had lost all the faith and goodwill of the people and it had now started not only targeting its opponents but even discriminating against them by keeping them out of various welfare schemes.
Capt Amarinder accompanied by senior party leaders including Mr Laal Singh, Fateh Jang Bajwa, Rana Gurjit, Ramanjit Singh Sikki and others, reached here around 1 pm driving from Chandigarh. He was stopped by party workers and supporters on the way at Mullanpur Dakha, Moga, Makhu and Zira before reaching to a tumultuous welcome here. At Moga local MLA Joginder Pal Jain led hundreds of party workers to receive the PCC President.
Lashing out at the government for failing the expectations of the people, he said, it had resorted to punitive taxation stealthily by imposing the taxes outside the budget. He said, had the government imposed the taxes in the budget it would have been wiped out in the corporation elections.
The PCC President said, instead of imposing the taxes the government should have widened the tax base by encouraging investment which would not only have generated revenue but created jobs as well. Instead, he remarked, it preferred the short term measures to strangulate everyone even the small 50 yards plot holders.
He also questioned the government's logic in purchasing a helicopter for Rs 38 crores. "You are taxing people for your own luxuries and profligacies”, he remarked while pointing out how the government had appointed 22 Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and advisors with cabinet rank and all benefits at the cost of the state exchequer.
He also referred to the appointment of 150 additional, assistant and deputy advocates general by the government, most of whom are the kith and kin of the Akali and BJP leaders. While government is spending about Rs one crores every month on them when it comes to pleading the cases the government has to hire lawyers from Delhi as most of these law officers are not competent enough.
Referring to the problem of drug addiction and law and order raised by Harminder Gill, Capt Amarinder said, it was the natural fallout of the economic problems. When economy gets weaker the issues related to law and order are bound to rise and there are going to be thefts and dacoities.
He remarked, there was also nothing unusual about the Akalis promoting the drug trade as several Akali leaders were known to be drug paddlers.
Prominent among those present today included Mr Laal Singh, Fatehjang Bajwa, Rana Gurjeet, Rmanjit Singh Sikki, Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Dharamveer Agnihotri, Harminder Gill, Gurjeet Aujla, Major Amardeep, Sonu Dhesi, Jugal Kishore Sharma and others.


Rebels' activities helping govt: Capt Amarinder

PATTI (TARN TARAN),September 2: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today said the rebels' activities were indeed helping the ruling Akali-BJP alliance government particularly at a time when Congress had launched an action programme against it (the government).

Replying to a question whether the rebels were doing it at the behest of the government, Capt Amarinder said, he really did not know at whose behest they were doing it, but their activities were certainly helping the government.

In answer to another question about the allegations that he was not accessible, he asked, "how come they realised after the elections only that I was inaccessible  and not during the last 14 years I have been at the forefront of the Punjab Congress holding various positions like that of the Chief Minister, PCC President and the Chairman of the Campaign Committee?"

Asked whether he planned or proposed any action against the rebels since they had breached the party discipline, the PCC President said, he did not favour any action against anyone and he treated everbody as his colleague and friend. However, he added, the high command was also seized of the matter as everything was being taken note of by the party high command.

Capt Amarinder asserted that the party was united and there was no change in the enthusiasm among the party workers. He pointed out the presence of thousands of workers at today's programme was enough indication that they were very much attached to the Congress.

About his appeal to other opposition parties to participate in the anti-government dharnas he clarified, it was related only to a particular issue of protesting against the anti-people policies of the government. He said, political alliance if any can be worked at and decided later and the final decision will be taken by the high command only.


Capt Amarinder appeals all opposition parties to unite against govt

CHANDIGARH, September 1:

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today appealed to all the opposition parties in Punjab, including the People’s Party of Punjab, the Communist Party of India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Bahujan Samaj Party to come together to fight against the anti-people policies of the Akali-BJP government. He also invited them to join the statewide dharnas being staged by the Congress at all the district headquarters on September 7.
Addressing a press conference at the Punjab Congress Bhawan here today, the PCC President said, there was a strong and genuine cause for all the like minded opposition political parties to come together and prevent this government from imposing punitive taxes on the people of the state. He pointed out, the spate of taxation had affected all the people across all social and economic spheres and people were angry and disappointed.
He expressed hope and confidence that the opposition parties and leaders will come together in the interest of the people. He maintained that as on now there was no political agenda in getting together the political parties and the only purpose was to save the people of Punjab from a regime that is highly insensitive towards the public interest.
Capt Amarinder maintained that the taxes imposed by the state government were illegal since any financial matter needs the approval of the state legislature. He pointed out, they circumvented the legislative process by way of showing a “tax-free” budget while imposing heavy taxes on the people subsequently. He said, this was a total fraud with the people.
The former Chief Minister said, this was purely a short term measure of the state government and it cannot help revive the economy. He said, he had reports that the government was planning to mop up about Rs 9000 crores in taxes and this was just a beginning. He said, the statewide protests with participation by all the political parties was aimed at preventing the government from imposing further taxes while withdrawing the ones it had imposed.
He stated that such taxation will rather damage the economy as the industry will become less competitive. The result will be the industry will move out and there will be more problems for the economy.
Asked whether PPP Chief Manpreet Badal was trying to join the Congress and keen to contest as party candidate from Bathinda, Capt Amarinder said, Manpreet had never met him hence he was not in a position to comment.
To another question about the leadership issue, Capt Amarinder reiterated that it was the discretion and prerogative of the Congress President Ms Sonia Gandhi. He said, he decision will be acceptable to him and till the time he was the PCC president he will continue to work vigorously for the party.
He refused to comment on the activities of some party leaders who had held a meeting at Chandigarh yesterday. Asked whether he will take any action or recommend any action against them since they had breached the party discipline he said, he was not keen to recommend any action against anybody.
Capt Amarinder was today accompanied by senior party leaders and MLAs who included Mr Laal Singh, Rana Sodhi, Rana Gurjeet, OP Soni, Chaudhary Jagjeet, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Mohd Sadique, Hardayal Kambhoj, Balbir Sidhu, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Amrik Dhillon, Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Charanjit Singh Channi, Kikki Dhillon, Fateh Jang Bajwa, Ajit Singh Shant, Joginder Singh Panjgraian, Surinder Gupta, Satbir Singh, Jugal Sharma and others.


Congress leaders seek CBI probe against Valtoha

AMRITSAR, August 29: Senior Congress leaders from Majha today demanded the Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the cases of corruption against Khmekaran MLA Virsa Singh Valtoha. They said, nobody had any faith in the vigilance bureau as it was running straightway under the directions of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Referring to the vigilance bureau’s U-turn in his case which paved way for his getting exonerated senior Congress leaders including Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Gurchet Singh Bhullar, Haminder Singh Gill and Sukhpal Bhullar said, they had no faith in the state vigilance bureeau as it had proved to be the hand-maid of the ruling Akali Dal.
They alleged that Valtoha’s corruption was beyond any doubt and still the vigilance bureau let him off just under the pressure of the ruling Akali Dal. Hence, they added, it was important to get the probe done by an indpendent and neutral agency. 


Just beginning of punitive tax regime: Capt Amarinder

CHANDIGARH, August 29: Criticising the spate of taxes imposed by the Akali-BJP government in the state yesterday, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt  Amarinder Singh today said, this was just the beginning of a punitive taxation regime that was going to be unleashed on the people of Punjab in the coming days.

Reacting to the increase in VAT, infrastructure cess, tax imposed on all the properties and other taxes, the PCC President said, this was quite expected as this government was already bankrupt and was now trying to rob people of the state by imposing taxes by deceit after presenting a “tax free” budget in the assembly.

Capt Amarinder reiterated that imposing punitive taxes was no solution to revive the state economy. He said, the government should rather boost the confidence of the investors who can invest and generate jobs and resources. He pointed out, imposing such taxes will only discourage the investors who will have second thoughts even if they ever thought of investing in Punjab. 

PCC President to tour all 117 constituencies by Nov end

CHANDIGARH, August 28: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh will be touring all the 117 constituencies in the months of September, October and November.
A wrong impression was being created in a section of press today that he will only be visiting seven constituencies represented by his “loyalists”. Nothing can be far from the truth than such observation.
The tour which begins from September 2 will start from Patti assembly segment in Tarn Taran district and will conclude in the month of November. These constituencies were chosen for the first leg of the tour since the party workers have faced worst kind atrocities and victimisation in these assembly segments.
Like Patti, the PCC President will be visiting Majithia, Rampura Phull, Fatehgarh Churian among others where the Akali Ministers Bikram Singh Majithia and Sikander Singh Malukha and Akali leader Virsa Singh Valtoha have started a vindictive campaign against the Congress workers.

Press Secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee,

Pawar agrees with Cong MPs for direct relief payment to farmers

CHANDIGARH, August 10: The Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and the Rural Development Minister Jai Ram Ramesh have agreed to the suggestion made by the Punjab Congress MPs that the relief to the drought hit farmers in the state should be paid directly to them.

A delegation of the Punjab MPs comprising of the National Spokesperson and Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari, Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa, Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla and Anandpur Sahib MP Ravneet Bittu met the two ministers here last night demanding the relief for the farmers and its direct payment to them.

Giving details of the meeting Manish Tewari said, the state government has sought the drought relief under three different heads; one for compensation for electricity to be given to the Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd and second and third for the farmers on account of diesel and conversion to submersible motors.
He said, the MPs, while strongly supporting the demand for drought package for Punjab, said, while they had no objection to the relief for electricity subsidy going to the state government, they insisted on the other two parts to be given directly to the farmers as the past experience about disbursement of relief was not encouraging.
The Ludhiana MP said, both the ministers agreed to their suggestion saying the farmers should directly get the relief compensation as they were briefed about as how the state government diverted the relief meant for farmers in 2009 for other purposes.
Now, according to Tewari, the agricultural ministry will seek the details of the drought hit farmers along with their bank account and Kisan Credit Card details so that the relief amount can directly be credited to their account as and when the central government announces the relief package.

Punjab Congress hails direct payment to farmers

CHANDIGARH, August 12: Punjab Congress today hailed the decision of the union agricultural ministry to provide direct relief to farmers hit by the drought in Punjab. The party said, only the direct relief to farmers will serve the desired purpose.
Reacting to the announcement made by the Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in Chandigarh that the farmers in Punjab will get the relief payment directly through their Kisan Credit cards and bank accounts, Punjab Congress general secretary Arvind Khanna said, this is a welcome step and will throw the middlemen out. He pointed out, while the Akalis were opposed to it, the demand was raised by the Congress MPs.

Khanna had a dig at the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal for opposing the move. He remarked, it was surprising that a party claiming itself to be the “pro-farmer” could oppose something that was purely in farmers’ interest. He rapped the Akalis saying instead of welcoming the relief they were sulking just because they were denied the chance to manipulate and make commissions.
The Congress general secretary pointed out, the past experience had been quite disappointing as the Akali government had diverted the relief in 2009 and it was only after large scale protests by the farmers that they were given relief. “Even the relief farmers were provided was peanuts as the Akali government provided only Rs 150 crores to farmers while the actual amount that came as relief for the farmers from the centre was Rs 800 crores”, he pointed out.
He said, the Akalis frustration and disappointment is understandable. First, he remarked, they cannot digest the fact that the government of India has been providing relief and aid to farmers, second they were denied the chance to steal the credit and last not the least, they will not have any control over farmers’ relief hence no scope for manipulations.  

Eid reminds Punjabis of glorious Sufi traditions of Punjab: Arvind Khanna 

CHANDIGARH, August 19: Punjab Congress general secretary and Dhuri MLA Arvind Khanna today congratulated the Muslim community on the eve of the Eid festival being celebrated tomorrow.

Felicitating the Muslim brethren, Khanna prayed, let this festival bring peace and joy in the lives of people. He said, after a month of fasting and penance people offer prayers for the well being of humanity which is the true essence of any religion.
The Dhuri MLA said, Eid festival had a special significance for the people of Punjab as it reminds them the great and glorious tradition of mutual brotherhood preached by great Sufi saints like Baba Farid and Bhulle Shah. 

Patiala MC should file review petition in HC on sealing: Capt Amarinder

PATIALA, August 13:

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today asked the Municipal Corporation Patiala to go back to the Punjab and Haryana High Court and file a review petition against the sealing orders.

In a statement issued here today, he said, in case the Patiala MC fails, the Congress will approach the High Court with the review petition.

Expressing his support and sympathies with the people of Patiala who have been affected by the court orders, Capt Amarinder said, the Patiala MC should ideally have sought review of the orders by filing a review petition which it has not done so far for the reasons best known to it.

The PCC President said, he and his party had full faith in the courts and they will approach the same again for justice.

He said, since a large number of people were facing serious problems the matter was needed to be taken at the urgent priority. However, he regretted that the Patiala MC had taken it so casually thus forcing the people to come out on streets.


Punjab Congress seeks PM’s intervention for Pak Hindus, Sikhs

CHANDIGARH, August 13:

Punjab Congress today sought the intervention of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh towards the plight of Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan who are facing intimidation and forced conversion across that country particularly in Sindh province. The party said, those who had reached India must be provided relief and shelter.

Referring to the rise in the number of attacks on Hindus and Sikhs and the SOS call made by the Hindus living in Sindh province to the Indian and US missions there seeking their help, Punjab Congress general secretary Arvind Khanna pointed out a number of these people had already crossed over to this part of Punjab and they were scared to go back.

Khanna urged both the central and the state governments to provide due shelter and relief to these people who have been forced out of their homeland because of rising extremism. He said, the government of India should also provide political asylum to all those Hindus from Pakistan who wanted to stay back.

Khanna said, the way the government of India took up the matter with the US authorities about the racial and unprovoked attack on Wisconsin Gurdwara it should raise the issue of Hindus’ and Sikhs’ security and survival in Pakistan with the government there.

He hoped that the Pakistan government, like the US, will take the Indian concern in right spirit and make necessary amends and interventions needed to restore the confidence of Hindus and Sikhs living there as abduction and forced conversion of the Hindu girls in Sindh province had become a routine affair with authorities hardly taking any note.

The Congress general secretary maintained that the government of India must talk to the Pakistan government on such an issue of grave concern as there are thousands of people living in Punjab and other parts of the country whose relatives stay in Pakistan and are facing victimisation.

Pawar to meet Punjab Congress MPs Thursday evening ahead of govt meeting


Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar will be meeting the Congress MPs from Punjab here this evening before his scheduled meeting with the high officials of the Punjab government.
This is in response to the issue raised by the National spokesperson of the Congress and Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari during Zero Hour in Parliament on Wednesday and earlier in the media.
While Pawar is expected to take the feedback from the party MPs, they are likely to insist on direct payment of relief to the farmers since the state government, according to them, has always been diverting the relief funds for other purposes.
The party MPs have been maintaining that the cash starved Akali-BJP government in the state cannot be trusted with the farmers’ relief as there is all likelihood of it getting diverted.
Tewari on Wednesday in Parliament had referred to the demand made by the Punjab government seeking aid for drought hit farmers. He reiterated the party’s support for the drought relief while at the same time insisting that the relief amount should directly go to the farmers and not routed through the state government.
He said, while the state government is seeking Rs 2300 crores only, Congress was supporting for more relief while at the same time taking precautions that the relief reaches to the farmers directly so that it is not diverted for other things.
The Congress spokesperson also referred to 2009 relief when the state government provided only Rs 150 crores of the Rs 800 crores to the farmers and that too after the farmers had to stage protest demonstrations for the relief.



Meeting of Punjab Congress MLAs

Chandigarh, August 8: 

A meeting of Punjab Congress MLAs, Distict Chiefs and Senior Congress Leaders was held to discuss the issue of political conference at Issru. The meeting was presided over by Gulchain Singh Charak, Incharge of Punjab Congress affairs.
The meeting observed two-minute silence to mourn the killing of innocents in Wisconsin Gurdwara shootout and the death of 11 innocents in the hooch tragedy in Batala. The house also congratulated and felicitated Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and newly elected President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee. The meeting also congratulated Mr. Hamid Ansari for being re-elected as the Vice-President.
A fact-finding committee was constituted to probe into the incident of Batala hooch tragedy. Three members, namely, Ashwani Sekhri, MLA, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, MLA, and Vikram Singh Bajwa, General Secretary, PCC, have been appointed on the committee.
During the meeting, a committee for organizing political conference at Issru on August 15 has been constituted with following members:
1.      S. Sadhu Singh MLA Convenor
2.      S. Sukhdev Singh Libra MP
3.      S. Tej Parkash Singh Ex Minister Member
4.      S. Amrik Singh Dhillon  MLA
5.      S. Randeep Singh Nabha MLA
6.      S. Gurkirat Singh MLA
7.      S. Kuljit Singh Nagra MLA
8.      S. Vikram Singh Bajwa General Secretary PPCC
9.      S. Kamaljit Singh Dhillon Treasurer PCC
10.  Smt. Razia sultan Ex MLA
11.  Smt. H.K. Dullo Ex MLA
12.  Sh. Surjit Singh Dhiman Ex MLA
13.  Sh. Lakhbir Singh Payal
14.  Sh. Joginder Pal Singla
15.  Sh. Harinder Singh Bhambri
16.  Sh. Hardev Singh Rosha

Next meeting of the Organizing Committee will be held on August 10.


Congress expresses grave concern over the alarmingly deteriorating law and order in Punjab, calls upon the SAD-BJP govt. to learn a lesson from the USA police.

Sukhpal Singh Khaira
Ex-MLA, Aug 08

  Grave and serious incidents of murder, loot, drug trafficking etc. have put a huge question mark on the integrity of the highly politicized Punjab police. There is a complete breakdown of the law and order in Punjab and criminals are ruling the roost in the state.
      Congress condemns the dastardly killing and looting of an Amritsar businessman Sh. Munish Khanna yesterday. Such incidents of murder, dacoity, loot and drug trafficking have become an order of the day.
      The Punjab police needs to learn a lesson from the effective policing displayed by the Wisconsin authorities while tackling the shootout at Oak creek Gurudwara couple of days back. The USA police responded within minutes to the 911 call and they shot dead the killer on the spot. A brave American police officer, Mr. Brian Murphy confronted the attacker and has been critically injured while defending the innocent citizens.
      Thereafter, the US govt. has swung into action and has involved the FBI in its investigation and we are all sure that the guilty would not be spared.
      Do we have any such mechanism where our police has responded to any distress call by its citizens? Has our police ever reached the spot to confront criminals? On the contrary the politicized Punjab police is known to shield guilty, convicted criminals such as Bibi Jagir Kaur, who is being provided VIP status in the jail. Ironically I have just learnt that Bibi Jagir Kaur has been given 28 days parole contrary to the directions of Hon’ble Spreme Court “that parole cannot be used as a tool by govt.’s to liberate criminals”
      If any officer such as Sh. Ravicharan Singh Brar former SSP Gurdaspur tried to depoliticize the police, he was shifted out of Gurdaspur within 100 days, despite clamor for his continuance by the local residents.
      I am sorry to state, that despite my D.O. letter to the DGP, IGP and SSP Kapurthala urging action against a known criminal gang operating in Bholath constituency facing more than 10 criminal cases and having illegal weapons, the police has failed to act due to political pressure.
      Therefore, the congress party urges the CM to take a cue from the fair and effective policing of USA and prevent Punjab from slipping into anarchy.



Minutes of Meeting of Office Bearers, DCC Presidents MLAs/Candidates of Ludhiana, Sangrur, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, SAS Nagar, Ropar and Nawanshahar for Political Conference at Issru and other related issues. The Meeting held on 8.8.2012 was presided over by Sh. Gulchain Singh Charak and attended by following:-
Present           -           As per list attached

1.      The meeting observed Two minutes silence to mourn the killing of innocent Sikhs in Gurudwara  in USA. The meeting also demanded due compensation for the victims of this incident from US Government.
2.      The House Congratulated ad felicitated Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi for selection of proper candidates for the august posts of President and Vice President of India in Sh. Pranab Mukherjee  and Sh. Hamid Ansari both of whom got elected by huge margin to their respective posts.
3.      The House also mourned the death of innocent persons in hooch tragedy. It was also decided to constitute Fact Finding Committee to probe into this incident and for recommending remedial measures to avoid recurrence of such incidents. The Committee Consisting of following was constituted:-
i.                    Sh. Ashwani Sekhri MLA Vice President PCC Convenor
ii.                  Sh.  Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa MLA  Member
iii.                Sh. Vikram  Singh Bajwa  General Secretary PCC
4.        A Committee for organizing Political Conference at Issru on 15.08.2012 was constituted as under:-
1.      S. Sadhu Singh MLA Convenor
2.      S. Sukhdev Singh Libra MP
3.      S. Tej Parkash Singh Ex Minister              Member
4.      S. Amrik Singh Dhillon  MLA
5.      S. Randeep Singh Nabha MLA
6.      S. Gurkirat Singh MLA
7.      S. Kuljit Singh Nagra MLA
8.      S. Vikram Singh Bajwa General Secretary PPCC
9.      S. Kamaljit Singh Dhillon Treasurer PCC
10.  Smt. Razia sultan Ex MLA
11.  Smt. H.K. Dullo Ex MLA
12.  Sh. Surjit Singh Dhiman Ex MLA
13.  Sh. Lakhbir Singh Payal
14.  Sh. Joginder Pal Singla
15.  Sh. Harinder Singh Bhambri
16.  Sh. Hardev Singh Rosha
A meeting of the Organizing Committee will be held on 10.08.2012 at 11.00 a.m. 


Capt Amarinder condemns attack on US Gurdwara

CHANDIGARH, August 6: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh and general secretary Arvind Khanna today condemned the attack on a Gurdwara in Wisconsin in the United States hoping that the US government will punish the guilty at the earliest.

Expressing his shock and grief over the Sunday incident, when six devotees were killed in the attack while several others injured, Capt Amarinder said, it has shocked the entire community world over. He said, the Sikhs are a peace loving community who believe in service to the humanity and it was tragic and unfortunate that they were targeted in such a dastardly manner.

Appealing to the US authorities to ensure that the guilty are brought to the book, the PCC President said, it was important to restore the faith of the ethnic minorities like the Sikhs staying there.   

In a separate statement Punjab Congress general secretary Arvind Khanna also condemned the attack on the Gurdwara that led to the death of six innocent devotees who were performing service to the humanity.

Khanna said, it was a highly condemnable act and needed to be thoroughly probed and investigated. He said, it was unfortunate that people get so wantonly killed in a country like US which was quite a disturbing thing.


Congress reiterates demand for drought relief but directly to farmers

CHANDIGARH, August 5: The Congress today reiterated its demand for the central assistance to the drought hit farmers of the state. At the same time it said that the relief must be provided directly to the farmers.
In a letter written to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Congress MPs from Punjab stated that the poor monsoons in the state had led to farmers’ incurring lot of additional costs on irrigating their paddy fields. This, they added, had necessitated the need for special relief to them.
Giving details here today, the Congress spokesperson and the Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari said, there should not be any cap on the aid, but it must be directly disbursed among the farmers by the Food Corporation of India at the time of procurement but not as a bonus. “If the Chief Minister (Mr Parkash Singh Badal) is asking for Rs 2380 crores we are saying pay more than that, but pay it directly to the farmers”, he said.
Tewari pointed out that the past experiences had shown that whenever the centre provided aid to the Akali-BJP government in the state for relief to the drought hit farmers, the state government did not pay any money to the affected farmers but diverted it for other things.
Citing 2009 example, he said, the government of India provided Rs 800 crores as aid to the Punjab government for disbursing the same to the affected farmers. Instead of giving it to the farmers, the state government claimed that it was not for them but for the electricity subsidy.
Tewari said, the farmers had to agitate and stage dharnas to get the relief money. Even after that what government paid to the farmers, was not even the peanuts as some farmers got cheques worth Rs 50 and Rs 100 as compensation.