Chandigarh – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said the Congress government was playing a massive fraud on farmers and dalits by resorting to cheap gimmicks like doing away with ‘kurki’ (attachment of properties) which was never implemented in the last ten years of SAD-BJP tenure besides renaming schemes instead of fulfilling poll promises like complete loan waiver and hiking social welfare benefits.
In a statement here, former minister and SAD general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia said the deceit and double speak of the Congress government could be gauged from the fact that it announced yesterday that it had done away with ‘kurki’ of indebted farmers. “One only has to read the fine print to realize that kurki has been done away with only in case of loans taken from cooperative banks. Such loans constitute only ten to fifteen per cent of the total loans taken by Punjab farmers”. He said even this was a publicity stunt. “Everyone knows that the SAD-BJP government did not let the Cooperative department implement this law. No kurki was happening on the ground. The SAD-BJP government also passed the Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Bill, 2016. Such path breaking legislation ensured government regulated settlement of farmer loans. However the practice of kurki restarted immediately after the Congress came into power in the State. It is likely to continue with the government not taking nationalized banks and arhatiyas (commission agents) in the ambit of yesterday’s decision which was solely concerned with cooperative bank loans only. This means the net impact of the cabinet decision on kurki is zero”, he added.
Asking the Congress government not to run away from its poll promises, Mr Majithia asked it to tell Punjabis why it had failed to implement its word to institute a complete loan waiver of around one lakh crore rupees immediately after coming to power. “The Congress government is in power for two and a half months now. It must explain why it is not implementing the complete loan waiver promise and trying to cheat the farmers with cheap stunts even which are not being implemented in the right spirit”, he added.
Terming the new Congress government as a “headline hunter government”, the Akali leader said it seemed that the government did not want to do anything except find ways to stay in the news and continue playing fraud with the people. He said yesterday’s cabinet decision to rename the ‘shagun’ scheme as ‘ashirwad’ scheme was another fraud on the dalit community. He said the Congress party had announced in its election manifesto to increase the money to newly-wed brides under the shagun scheme to Rs 51,000 from the current Rs 15,000. All the people have got is a name change. No extra money is going to flow into their account. If this is not betrayal what is? Majithia asked.
Stating that this was not all, the department of Agriculture has been renamed as department of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare. “However not a single farmer friendly activity has been announced. Similarly the department of Irrigation has also got a new name without stating a single measure the government will take to conserve water and ensure its efficient and optimal use.
Asserting that actions speak of intent, Mr Majithia said the recent actions of the Congress government, including the defrauding of Punjabis in the latest cabinet meeting, had made it clear that the government did not intend to fulfill any of its poll promises. “We will however not let this government escape its responsibility and expose it before the people by launching a mass movement amongst farmers, dalits and youth who have been betrayed by it. We will take all sections of society with us and force the government to deliver on its promises”, he added.