Congress Legislature Party (CLP) chief Charanjit Singh Channi today visited the Bhagtanwala and Rayya grain markets in Amritsar.He also met farmers at Dana Mandi and listened to their woes. Later, he met a delegation of arhtiyas.Congress party men also sat on a dharna in the mandi and raised slogans against the state government.The CLP leader alleged the CM and his son-in-law’s direct involvement in the Rs 12,000 crore foodgrain scam and in the wilful diversion of funds meant for the procurement of grain from farmers. He demanded a CBI probe into it. Addressing the media in Amritsar, Channi also demanded an independent inquiry into the delay of payments to farmers. “The farmers are sitting for the past four days and not even a single penny has been given to them despite the Chief Minister openly declaring the release of the cash credit limit,” he said.Channi said that on average, three farmers were committing suicide daily due to the wrong policies of the SAD-BJP government.The Congress leader shared the vision of the party for the farming community. He said if voted to power, the Congress government would promote agro-based cottage industry. More stress would be laid on crop diversification, which earlier was also started by the Congress government in 2002-07, he said.He said that during the Congress regime from 2002 to 2007, Captain Amarinder Singh didn’t allow the farmers to sit for a day in the mandis with their produce. The Congress government in 2004 took Rs 4,500 crore for procurement from the Union Government.
It was evenly utilised till 2007, but the present regime misused the funds and the multi-crore foodgrain scam has surfaced.“Even the MSP hike for wheat and paddy during the UPA regime was according to the prevailing market price, but it was meagre in the NDA regime. This clearly shows that Congress governments in the state and at the Centre are always farmer-friendly,” he said. Lambasting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for their false propaganda in Punjab, Channi said that AAP was just a bunch of inexperienced and visionless leaders.“AAP has no political vision for Punjab as the same bunch of leaders, who have been taking favours from the Akali Dal and Congress in the past, are heading it. They are making claims of generating 14 lakh jobs in Punjab while, according to their own government figures in Delhi in the past two years, they could only generate employment of 1,700. These figures expose the propaganda of AAP in Punjab,” he said. Others present on the occasion included Dr Raj Kumar Verka, OP Soni, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Harjinder Singh Thekedar, Jasbir Singh Gill, Karamjit Singh Rintu, Sardul Singh, Sunil Datti, Rajiv Bhagat, Joginder Pal Dhingra and Ashwani Puri.