SAD demands cancellation of licenses of seed companies accused of engineering Seed scam

Chandigarh, May 31 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded the immediate cancellation of the licenses of two seed companies accused of engineering the multi crore inter-State Seed scam which had affected the livelihood of farmers of Punjab and neighbouring States.

In a statement here, senior party leaders Balwinder Singh Bhundur and Sikander Singh Maluka said following complaints and protests by farmers in Jalandhar and other places, the State Agriculture department had started taking action against few seed stores for selling spurious seeds of PR-128 and PR-129 paddy variety to farmers. “However no concrete action has been taken against Brar Seeds, Ludhiana and Karnal Agri Seeds, Dera Baba Nanak despite the fact that their involvement in the multi-crore seed scam had come to light on May 11 when the Agriculture department got a FIR registered in the case. It is clear that that the accused are being given political shelter and this is why the police are not taking action against them”.

Both Mr Bhundur and Mr Maluka demanded immediate suspension of the licenses of the Ludhiana seed store as well as the Dera Baba Nanak based seed producer. They also demanded the custodial interrogation of the proprietors of both managements to unravel the Seed Scam and expose those who had patronized the scamsters.

The senior SAD leaders said it was shameful that despite the fact that Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa’s name had cropped up in the scam and his proximity to Karnal Seed’s proprietor Lucky Dhillon had been highlighted, the government was yet to order an independent inquiry into the case. “In fact the way the government is proceeding in the matter it seems the accused are being given ample time to move incriminating evidence out of their premises as well as doctor their records”.

Asking the government what evidence it was still waiting for before proceeding against the seed store and spurious seed producer, Mr Bhundur and Mr Maluka said now farmers had also come out and disclosed about the poor quality of the seeds. “We are getting reports from the field that nurseries where these spurious seeds were used are recording very poor germination. Some farmers who have gone in for direct sowing have also reported very poor results”.

Both leaders also asked why chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh was not intervening in the matter despite the fact that people were openly claiming that no action was being taken against the scamsters because they enjoyed political patronage. “The chief minister should forward the case to the CBI for an inquiry or entrust its probe to a sitting judge of the high court”.

The leaders asked farmers who had suffered due to this massive scam engineered with political patronage to file complaints with the State Agriculture department as well as the police. They also demanded that the Agriculture department immediately supply the farmers with alternative seed besides compensating them for the losses incurred by them by buying the spurious seed at the rate of Rs 200 per kg against the controlled rate of Rs 70 per kg at which PAU Ludhiana had sold its seed stock to farmers through Krishi Vigyan Kendras. EOM

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