CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday said the Congress government had run away from discussing emergent people issues including the farm crisis and denial of social welfare benefits to Dalits and poor because the party had nothing to show by way of performance. Former ministers Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Bikram Singh Majithia said in a statement the SAD-BJP legislature group had submitted two adjournment motions on the failure of the government to even start implementation of Rs 90,000 crore farm loan waiver due to which 300 farmers had committed suicide as well as denial of social welfare benefits to the weaker sections.The government even did not allow a debate of its failure to bring parity of Sugarcane assured price with Haryana due to which sugar barons associated with it are benefitting. Similarly the plight of potato farmers was also ignored and no support was announced for them. “We maintained that there was nothing more important that these two is sues but both adjournment motions were rejected on flimsy grounds,” they said. Former ministers said the SAD-BJP legislature group on Wednesday had tried to bring the problems being faced by Dalits and poor sections of society due to denial of pension benefits to them to the attention of the state government on the floor of the House but the treasury benches turned a deaf ear to their appeal.“As many as twenty lakh people are not getting their pension dues worth Rs 1,000 crore,” they said. “Besides old age pensioners these also include widows and the handicapped and orphans. Students are being denied scholarship money. Even brides of SC and weaker sections are not being given Shagun benefits since one year what to talk of enhancing these benefits to Rs 51,000. The Social Welfare minister today had no answer when confronted with these revelations and admitted no payments had been made by trying to deflect the issue by stating a bill had been raised to disburse Shagun,” they said.
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