Mehatpur – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday took on the Congress government for ignoring the plight of thousands of musk melon farmers whose crop was damaged due to hail. He asked the government to explain why the girdwari was not done to assess the damage nor any compensation provided to them. Badal, who also interacted with the affected farmers while addressing meetings at Punia, Lasuri, Mulewal Khaira, Salechan, Kotli Gazra, Kania Kallan, Talwandi Sanghera and Dhandowal, said that he was shocked to know that the district administration did not order any girdwari after musk melon crop in a few thousand acres in the constituency and nearby areas was destroyed by hail storms.Demanding compensation be given to the farmers, he said the SAD would raise their voice in the Vidhan Sabha also. Badal however said this behaviour was nothing new for the Congress as well as its Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. He said while the SAD-BJP government had distributed a compensation of Rs 600 crore when the cotton crop was destroyed in the Malwa region by a white fly attack, the Congress government did not give a single rupee as compensation to thousands of farmers whose cotton crop was hit by white fly attack last year.Speaking about nonpayment of sugarcane dues to farmers across the state, Badal said farmers in Shahkot constituency were severely affected by this. He said out of the total Rs 300 crore due to farmers as much as Rs 30 crore was due to farmers of Shahkot. “The Chief Minister should come and tell farmers why they are not getting compensation for crop damage and not being paid their sugarcane dues instead of scooting off to Manali to participate in birthday parties,” he asked.The SAD president said the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh must tell farmers why he was victimising them in this manner. He said already the farming sector was in crisis with 450 farmers committing suicide because of the failure of the Congress government to fulfil its promise to waive off all loans be it from nationalised and cooperative banks or private money lenders. The SAD president also asked the CM to ensure all welfare schemes for Dalits were implemented.
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