CHANDIGARH: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has alleged that the farmers’ agitation has been orchestrated by the Congress and other “nefarious forces” to mislead the people of Punjab.
Calling the ongoing stir a conspiracy, Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma requested farmer organizations to form a five-member committee and initiate talks with the Centre. “When the central government has given an assurance that minimum support price will not be discontinued, then why are certain forces continuing the agitation?” he asked in a written statement.
The strongly-worded statement came on the day the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) held a meeting with leaders of all political parties, except the BJP, on campaigning for the state assembly elections.
The Punjab BJP chief said the central government had announced a hike ranging from ₹40 to ₹400 per quintal in the MSP of different Rabi crops, but some nefarious forces were still doing false propaganda. He also hit out at the Congress government in Punjab for doing “nothing” when the neighboring Haryana (ruled by the BJP) was giving MSP for 11 crops.
Sharma accused the state government of misusing and bungling the ₹159-crore subsidy provided by the central government in 2019-20 for buying equipment and machinery for straw management. “The farmers were not given the funds meant for them and the Amarinder Singh government misused the money,” he alleged.
The BJP leader said the Haryana government was giving ₹7,000 per acre to farmers as a subsidy for not cultivating rice and ₹5,000 per acre to farmers who sow direct-seeded paddy to save water, but no such subsidy was being given to farmers in Punjab to wean them away from the rice-wheat rotation.