Punjab govt has a week to ensure smooth supply of


    SHIROMANI AKALI Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday issued a week-long ultimatum to Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to ensure smooth supply of DAP fertilizer to farmers, else his party will intensify its agitation “to secure justice” for the affected farmers by gheraoing the CM’s residence.

    Addressing a dharna organised in front of the deputy commissioner’s office, Bathinda, the SAD president expressed shock that “the Congress government had failed to secure adequate stock of DAP fertilizer ahead of wheat sowing season due to which it was now being black marketed”.

    “Farmers are even being forced to purchase zinc and phosphate fertilizers along with DAP,” he said, adding that all this was because “Congress leaders were busy fighting with each other”. He said this was the first time there has been such a shortage of DAP, and during Parkash Singh Badal’s tenure as chief minister, the state used to make arrangements for acquiring needed fertilizer months in advance.

    Sukhbir also condemned the Congress government for not giving compensation at the rate of Rs 50,000 per acre to cotton growers whose crop was completely destroyed by pink bollworm. He said the chief minister “had duped farmers by rushing to get his picture clicked with them and then forgotten about releasing relief to them”.

    “The relief was only announced under pressure from SAD but even that is anti-farmer as clauses have been put to deliberately deny farmers even the Rs 12,000 per acre compensation announced by the government for hundred per cent damage,” he added.

    In a frontal attack on the chief minister, Sukhbir said Channi as well as his relatives including his brother, son and son-in-law “were indulging in corruption by opening shops to dole out illegal favours”.
    He alleged that the chief minister “had virtually taken over the liquor and sand mining business by bifurcating the excise and taxation as well as industry and mining departments and retaining excise and mining portfolios with him”. “The chief minister is holding direct meetings with mine owners and is extracting money from them,” he claimed.

    Reacting to the appointment of Home Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa’s son-in-law Tarunvir Lehal as an Additional Advocate General, Sukhbir said Channi “was following the footsteps of his predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh by doling out plum jobs to children of Congress ministers and legislators”. “The ghar ghar naukari scheme has become a Congress ghar naukari scheme alone,” he added.

    Sukhbir also warned officials “not to victimise” Akali workers at the instance of state Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, adding that due action would be taken against all such officials once the SAD-BSP government was formed in the state.

    Earlier in the day, senior leader Sikander Singh Maluka said the Congress government had only reduced power tariff by Rs 3 per unit till March 3, adding that in direct contrast, the SAD-BSP alliance had announced that it would offer 400 units per month to all consumers free of cost. Maluka also asked the chief minister “not to try to befool Punjabis” with false advertisements, saying the Congress government was claiming that petrol and diesel prices were the lowest in the state when the actual fact was that both petrol and diesel were cheaper in Chandigarh as well as Himachal Pradesh.