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Punjab govt to compensate farmers if Centre doesn't withdraw MSP value cut

Press Trust of India  |  Samana (Punjab) 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Wednesday said the state government will compensate farmers if the Centre does not concede their demand to withdraw the value cut in the procurement price of rain-damaged wheat.

The value cut implies that the farmers will get less than minimum support price (MSP) for the wheat crop damaged by unseasonal rain.

Singh said he will ensure that the farmers are not penalised for no fault of theirs. "The state will subsidise any value cut imposed on the MSP," he said.

Earlier, he addressed a rally here in support of Preneet Kaur, his wife and the Congress candidate from the Patiala Lok Sabha constituency.

The chief minister accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to Punjab's farmers to "undermine" the state government.

Despite repeated requests over the issue of value cut, Singh said the Centre had "failed" to respond so far and lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "ignoring" the plight of farmers.

Earlier, at the rally, the Congress leader condemned Modi for his remarks on late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. He also hit out at Modi's alleged efforts to take credit for the achievements of the armed forces.

Singh said Modi would be taught a lesson by voters for his attempts to "divide the nation with his communal agenda".

"We have to decide what sort of country we want - a secular nation or one divided on the lines of religion," he said, adding that Modi would not be allowed to further his "divisive agenda".

Singh also mocked at the Bharatiya Janata Party's choice of Sunny Deol and other actors as symbols of their "nationalist agenda" in these elections.

The chief minister derided Deol for his reported comments on the Balakot airstrikes about which he seemed to be "completely ignorant".

"This showed the calibre of the people that the BJP is seeking to impose on the people," he said, adding that while Modi had been taking credit for Balakot, Deol did not even know what had happened there.

"These actors are just showpiece" Singh said, claiming that actor-turned-politician Hema Malini did not utter any word even once in the Lok Sabha, where she represented Mathura for five years.

The Modi rule had been nothing but a saga of "failed" promises, Singh said.

He alleged that demonetisation had failed to end black money while the goods and services tax had broken the backs of thousands of small traders.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 08 2019. 21:51 IST