The Badal father-son duo seem to be suffering from selective hearing and amnesia, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Friday, reacting to their allegation that he had backtracked on his farm loan waiver promise.
In a statement issued, the Chief Minister said the Badals had a propensity for misleading the people with their senseless and baseless statements against their political rivals, particularly the Punjab Congress. Their latest statements contesting his government’s commitment to farm debt waiver were not only unfounded but also contradictory to established facts that were in public domain, he said.
The Chief Minister said unlike the Badal regime, which had failed to take up any measure for the welfare of the farmers in the state during 10 years of their rule, his government had initiated a time-bound process of waiver of their loans in less than 10 days of taking over the state’s reins. In fact, said Captain Amarinder, his government had initiated a series of people-oriented measures to bring about transparency and governance in the systems, which the Badals had transformed into a den of corruption and mafias.
Referring to his meeting with the Prime Minister on the issue, the Chief Minister pointed out this was not the first time he had met Narendra Modi to demand waiver of farm loans, which the Congress was committed to securing for farmers not just in Punjab but around the country. He pointed out that he had been part of the delegation led by AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi that met the Prime Minister before the assembly elections to seek relief for the distressed farmers in the country.
However, the Badals, with their selective memory, had conveniently forgotten about this fact while accusing him of cheating the farmers on the debt waiver issue, Captain Amarinder said, adding that the Akali leaders should check out the facts before making such unsubstantiated statements.
The Chief Minister said that while his government was totally committed to fulfil its promise on waiver of all farm loans in Punjab, he would be happy if the central government also concurrently takes urgent steps to alleviate the sufferings of the debt-ridden farmers around the country.
His party, said Captain Amarinder, was cognizant of the plight of farmers in all parts of the country and was striving to resolve their problems with the support of the central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In contrast, the Badals, who were totally unmindful of the problems facing the farmers of their own state, could not possibly be expected to show any concern for farmers in other states, he added.
The Chief Minister urged the former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal not to further lower their dignity, which had taken a massive hit in the recent assembly polls, by indulging in such demeaning behavior but to work in collaboration with his government to protect and promote the interests of the people of Punjab.