Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh today embarked on three-day 'Kisan Bus Yatra', which will cover over 500 km in seven districts, with a vow to "punish" Badals for allegedly pushing the state's farmers to suicide. The yatra was flagged off by the widows of nine debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide.
Some of the women lost both their husband and son to the vicious cycle of mounting debt, a Punjab Congress spokesperson claimed. The yatra will cover the districts of Faridkot, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Muktsar, Jalalabad and Ferozepur. Amarinder is expected to be joined by several senior party leaders on different stretches along the route, which will be dotted by Kisan sabhas and Mandi meetings, in addition to road shows. Blaming the Badal government for its alleged failure to help farmers, Amarinder assured the widows that "we will not forgive them for pushing you to such a state" and vowed to "punish" the Badals if his party is voted back to power. He reassured the widows that he would immediately waive off all farm debts. He reiterated his commitment to resolving the problems of the farmers, whom he described as Punjab's engine of growth and progress through the years. Among the widows who met Amarinder before the launch of the road show was Rajomajra's Harbans Kaur whose husband Sohan Singh committed suicide over a debt of Rs 4 lakh. Congress has claimed that the government, instead of helping her out, installed an electrical tower in the middle of her farmland, rendering it useless. Amarinder alleged that it was a typical example of the Badal government's insensitive and uncaring attitude towards farmers' families. "The Badals are so busy filling their own coffers with the hard-earned money of people that they have no time to even think of their problems," he alleged. Amarinder assured farmers of all possible support by the Congress in their fight against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the Badal government. For the yatra, the Congress state president is travelling in a specially-designed bus, equipped with all the basic facilities and which has a hydraulic platform from where he will address various farmer meetings along the way.
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