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Punjab: SAD launches helpline to protect paddy farmers from 'Congress persecution'

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The (SAD) today launched a helpline for paddy farmers to protect them from alleged persecution by the government.

The government has asked farmers to begin paddy only after June 20 to check the depleting water table levels. However, farmers claim that if they delay the transplantation, they will incur heavy losses.

Saplings of those found violating the government orders are being uprooted.

leader said the helpline had been launched to make a concerted effort to protect farmers transplanting paddy according to the traditional date of June 10.

We will not let any farmer's field to be re-ploughed in the name of a dictatorial order restricting paddy before June 20, Majithia said.

He said the party leaders would rush to the spot upon receiving information from farmers.

Majithia said it was shameful that an elected government was riding roughshods over farmers by passing unilateral orders, without understanding the farmers' concerns.

"The government does not believe that the Annadata (provider), who is feeding the nation and working in extreme heat to produce grains, has valid reasons to start transplanting paddy from June 10, even as its ministers make arrogant and dictatorial pronouncements from the comfort of their air conditioned rooms," Majithia said.

He added that would rescue the distressed farmers from the government's persecution.

The leader said that sowing in paddy nurseries had been done and labour hired by farmers according to the traditional date of June 10.

Majithia said that the farmers understood that timing was most crucial.

Delaying transplantation by ten days gives the crop less time to ripen and affects yield, he said, adding that the farmers also face difficulties in selling the produce as its moisture content remains high.

Majithia asked the Congress government to clarify whether it will compensate the farmers for increased labour costs due to the reduction of the paddy transplantation window, loss of yield, loss due to failure to cultivate a third crop and ensure that the moisture-laden paddy will be procured.

He claimed that the delaying paddy transplantation would also cut down time to dispose off paddy stubble, forcing farmers to burn it and thereby add to the pollution levels.

Majithia also condemned the Congress government for threatening farmers that their crop would not be procured if the violated the government directions.

He said that the government had already cheated the farmers by not honouring its commitment to waive off their loans worth Rs 90,000 crore.

This has led to more than 450 farmers committing suicide, Majithia claimed.

Actions like destroying paddy which has been sowed after investing a huge amount are only aimed at further adding to this number, he alleged.

Majithia also appealed to the government employees to understand the plight of the farmers and not destroy their standing crops.

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

First Published: Thu, June 14 2018. 21:05 IST