Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 2
Ridiculing SAD president Sukhbir Badal’s remarks welcoming the Union Budget 2020-21 as pro-farmer and pro-poor, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday termed it a case of “brazen sycophancy” with nothing to substantiate the tall claims of the Akali chief.
The Chief Minister wondered what Sukhbir had found to be positive for the farmers in the budget, which even agriculture experts and farmer bodies had rejected as totally bereft of any initiative to save the agrarian sector. He alleged that while the BJP was blinded by power and could not see the problems faced by the farmers, the SAD president was apparently blinded by his love for the ruling party that he could see anything wrong in their actions.
Despite having three ministers in the Union Cabinet from the state, the BJP-Akali have failed to secure a debt relief scheme for the farmers, who continue to reel under massive debt burden, not just in Punjab, but across the country, the Chief Minister remarked.
Questioning Sukhbir’s reaction hailing of Rs15 lakh crore budgetary allocation for the agriculture sector, Capt Amarinder asked how he thought the mere 10 per cent increase over last year for agriculture and allied sectors to be sufficient to tackle the grave crisis faced by the debt-ridden farmers.
Captain Amarinder said that while his government was doing its best in Punjab, a holistic national policy, encompassing debt waiver, MSP for all crops and diversification was the only long-term solution to the problem.