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Punjab

Posted at: Jul 10, 2018, 1:37 AM; last updated: Jul 10, 2018, 7:40 PM (IST)

SAD woos farmers ahead of Modi rally

BKU strikes discordant note, says MSP hike won’t raise farm income drastically

Tribune Reporters

Muktsar/Chandigarh, July 9

The SAD on Monday claimed that farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan would throng the July 11 thanksgiving rally at Malout to express gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the “record” increase in minimum support price (MSP) of kharif crops.

However, the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) asked farmers to listen to their conscience before taking part in the rally.

According to farm unions, the MSP hike would be undone by the high rise in input costs, mainly the cost of diesel and labour, and GST being imposed on pesticides, fertilisers and farm equipment. Balbir Singh Rajewal, BKU (Rajewal) president, said the hike in MSP of paddy would lead to a gross increase of Rs 4,500 per acre in the farm income, but the hefty input costs would restrict the income to the bare minimum.

Harpreet Singh, SAD leader and former MLA from Malout, said, “We are setting up a ‘pandal’ in 3 lakh sq ft area. No party ever has set up such a huge pandal for any rally till date. The stage will be 44 x 24 ft. Chairs will be provided to public and langar will be served. We have made about 10 parking lots.”

State BJP chief Shwait Malik on Monday held a meeting of party workers and reviewed the preparations. The SAD has given the task of preparations to its Muktsar district chief Kanwarjit Singh ‘Rozy Barkandi’, Faridkot constituency incharge Parambans Singh ‘Bunty Romana’, Delhi MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa and another senior leader, Charanjit Singh Brar.

The town has been converted into a police fortress. Policemen and paramilitary forces personnel have been deployed in and around the town. Encroachments have been removed from the road leading to the rally venue.

The Prime Minister will come from neighbouring Chhapianwali village to the rally venue by road.

During the day, DGP (Law and Order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon and ADGP Arpit Shukla visited the rally venue. The Prime Minister’s security guards are likely to reach here on Tuesday. At least six SSPs of neighbouring districts and their subordinates have been deployed here.

Policemen seized a cell phone of an electronic mediaperson who was capturing a video and detained him. He was released later.

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