Jalandhar: In the wake of farmer suicides, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has come forward to present its ‘pro-farmer’ face, and put up billboards with none other than Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, as the ‘star campaigner’ of farmers in the state.
Presenting the message ‘Kisan Hitaishi, CM Badal’, the SAD has literally left no stone unturned to reach out to the masses, particularly the farmers to propagate its welfare schemes. The farmer welfare scheme bill boards have been put up at key locations in Jalandhar.
At the same time, the SAD has also cautioned the masses to beware of the anti-Punjab forces, who had been presenting a wrong picture of the state and its farmers ahead of the assembly elections 2017. ‘Punjab Virodhi ansara to suchet raho. It was only Punjab government, which has stood by its farmers in the state’, the bill board reads in Punjabi.
Among the major schemes mentioned by the SAD in the hoardings was welfare schemes like ‘Bhagat Puran Singh Sehat Bima Yojna’ under which annual Rs 50, 000 free medical treatment cover was made available to the farmers. The bill board also mentioned that in case of farmer suicide, the victim’s family would get a compensation of Rs 3 lakh. Earlier, this compensation was Rs 2 lakh.
The hoardings also mentioned that marginal farmers had also been covered with interest free Rs 50,000 loan facility. SAD-BJP government also spent Rs 193.6 crore funds for farm machinery and Rs 53.94 crore spent on setting up as many as 1627 Agro Service Centres, it carried the message.
A SAD leader said that even though, it was the age of social media but when it comes to reaching out to the rural population, traditional means of publicity like hoardings were the trusted methods. “As farmers from villages have been reaching out to the Deputy Commissioner’s office daily, the hoarding has been put up outside the district administrative complex. Similar such hoardings were set up in the villages too”, the Akali leader said.
It is pertinent to mention here that on Monday, the SAD also flagged off ‘Video Vans’ with the slogan ‘Sada Punjab, Sadi Shaan, Sanu Punjabi hon te Maan’. The SAD leadership besides, using the social media platform was still relying on the traditional mass media as well. “SAD has simultaneously started different publicity campaigns ahead of the assembly elections”, said a party worker.
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