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farmers do not suffer due to strike by Sheller owners– Dr Daljit Singh Cheema


Chandigarh: Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema today demanded chief minister Bhagwant Mann intervene immediately to ensure farmers did not suffer due to the strike by Sheller owners in the State which was clogging mandis and affecting procurement of paddy.

Talking to newsmen here, Dr Daljit Cheema along with party spokesperson Arshdeep Singh Kler said “it is condemnable that the chief minister has not taken up the issue with the central government and is allowing the farmers of the State to suffer due to the ongoing strike by Sheller owners. It must be impressed on the centre that Sheller’s are taking fortification material to be mixed in rice from mills approved by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and that the latter cannot hold them to account for any shortcoming”, the leaders said.

Dr Cheema also stressed that the State government should take up the issue of relaxation in moisture content in rice with the centre immediately. He said rains during the last two days had resulted in an increase in moisture content and that farmers should not be penalized for the same.

When questioned, the SAD leader said the chief minister was trying to mislead Punjabis in the garb of a debate. He said if the chief minister was really interested in a debate he would have answered the questions put to him by the constitutional head of the State – the Governor. “This would have started a debate and all issues could have been discussed threadbare”. Dr Cheema said adding “instead of doing this, the chief minister refused to answer questions put to him including that regarding corruption in government functioning, favouritism and nepotism, excise policy scam, refusal to take action against cabinet minister Lal Chand Kataruchak and patronage being given to drug mafia and illegal mining” He said the chief minister only replied to one letter on Rs 50,000 crore loan taken by his government and admitted that this was done to pay interest on loans and that the AAP government had failed to raise the promised revenue”.

Asserting that the chief minister had raised the issue of a debate to pave the way for a central survey by giving directions of the same on the new e portal, Dr Cheema said “it is clear that all this is being done on the directions of AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal who has directed Bhagwant Mann to facilitate transfer of SYL waters to Haryana”. The Akali leader said if the chief minister was really serious on safeguarding the River rights of Punjab he should have asked Kejriwal to withdraw his affidavit demanding release of SYL waters to Haryana and Delhi. He also cited how recently the Delhi government had sided with Haryana in the Supreme Court during the hearing on the SYL canal.

SAD legal cell president Arshdeep Kler highlighted how not one of the 143 lawyers in the Punjab Advocate General office had not been fielded in the Supreme Court by the State government even as Delhi advocates representing Punjab pleaded that the State was ready to construct the SYL but for pressure from the opposition as well as transfer of canal land back to the original owners by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

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