Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday said that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) double-crossed the farmers over the issue of farm laws and claimed that the laws were drafted with the consent of SAD, with Harsimrat Kaur Badal as the Union Minister.
He also claimed that even the former CM Parkash Singh Badal, at that time, argued in favour of those laws, but the SAD is now changing their tune completely when their move has backfired.
Calling Congress the only party who protested against the farm laws from the very first day, Amarinder Singh alleged that his government called an all party meeting and held consultations with the farm unions. Afterwards, the Punjab government convened a special session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and passed Bills aimed at countering these farm laws.
Mentioning that the Union Government has amended the constitution 127 times since 1950, the CM said, "Why not (amend) one more time to repeal the farm laws for providing succour to the farmers who have been sitting at Singhu and Tikri borders."
"Punjab Government has provided Rs 5 lakh to every farmer from the state that died during the agitation against farm laws besides a job to the kin of the deceased farmers," he added.
Captain Amarinder Singh was addressing a gathering on the occasion of laying the foundation stone of PAU- College of Agriculture at Ballowal Saunkhri in the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (SBS Nagar) district. The academic session of the college would begin from October 1, 2021. Admissions to 60 seats have already been made.
He said that it would be the first time that a college of agriculture other than the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana would come up with the BSc (Agriculture) course.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, "The opening of this College will prove to be a milestone in the development of agriculture in the Kandi area and will be helpful in strengthening its research on the problems and crops of this region as well as agricultural services for region's farmers."
"The college would boost the research on how to ensure more production with the judicious use of water resources as the lands are less and water is scarce in the region," he added.
Announcing a horticultural research station in Nawanshahar, Captain Amarinder Singh emphasized Apple Research also as part of diversification. "The state government would now pay 90 per cent of the subsidy from earlier 60 per cent paid to the small farmers for erecting barbed wire fencing in order to protect their crops from animals," he said while also announcing that 5 Horticulture Estates have been set up to guide the farmers and provide them the services for raising the fruits and vegetables.
Further, the Chief Minister said that during the past 4.5 years, the investor and business friendly policies of the state government has lead to an investment of Rs. 91,000 crore with facilitation of jobs to 20 lakh youth.
As a token gesture, he also handed over cheques to 25 landless farmers and farm labourers out of the total 31066 beneficiaries in the district under the debt waiver scheme. The beneficiaries have received the benefit to the tune of Rs 64.61 crore.