Farmers oppose move to install meters on tubewells

MOGA: Farmers today opposed the Cabinet’s decision to install power meters on tubewells under a pilot project, even as their five-day protest against the state government entered the penultimate day.

Tribune Reporters

Tribune News Service

Moga, January 25

Farmers today opposed the Cabinet’s decision to install power meters on tubewells under a pilot project, even as their five-day protest against the state government entered the penultimate day.

Addressing the protesters, BKU (Ekta) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri feared that the government’s move was a step towards withdrawing power subsidy to the agricultural sector. “We will stage protests across the state against this decision,” he announced.

Farmers also burnt an effigy of the Capt Amarinder Singh government outside the mini-secretariat here.

In Amritsar, farmer leaders asked the government to withdraw power subsidy to influential landlords who possessed almost half of the 13.5 lakh agriculture tubewell connections in the state.

Jamhoori Kisan Sabha’s Rattan Singh Randhawa claimed that Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal were among those who were availing subsidy. He suspected that the new move would be applicable only for farmers with small landholdings.

In Bathinda, BKU Ekta Ugrahan leaders hit out at the state government for its new “anti-farmer decisions”. They alleged that the Congress was now preparing the ground to withdraw the power subsidy given to farmers.

Addressing the protesters, union’s senior vice-president Jhanda Singh Jethuke and district chief Shangara Singh Mann alleged that the state government’s move to install electricity meters on tube-wells hints at its intention to withdraw the power subsidy being extended to the farming community of the state.

They said that the farmer unions would never allow the government to implement such “anti-farmer” decisions.

‘Withdraw subsidy to rich’

Farmer leaders asked the government to withdraw power subsidy to influential landlords who possessed almost half of the 13.5 lakh agriculture tubewell connections in the state.

(With inputs from Amritsar and Bathinda)

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