Deputy Commissioner Ramvir Singh and halqa incharge Harmel Singh Tohra distributed sanction letters for tubewell connections among 204 farmers at a function held here today.Sources said a majority of these farmers were SAD supporters who were given priority in sanctioning tubewell connections.The halqa chiefs have been facing criticism by the Congress, which alleges that these leaders interfere in the work of government officials.Patiala (rural) Congress MLA Brahm Mohindra said: “The bankrupt government is holding such functions at the public expense with an aim to giving mileage to Akali leaders ahead of the elections. The district administration has no business inviting halqa chiefs for the distribution of power connections.”Satnam Singh Behru, president, Consortium of Indian Farmers Associations, said it was good that finally the farmers were getting connections, but “identifying farmers based on party affiliation was wrong”. “The farmers are waiting for the connections for the past seven years. The government is giving just 30,000 connections despite promising to release 1.25 lakh connections. Other than Akali supporters, no one is getting the connections as the administration has made it clear that the recommendation for demand note will be floated through halqa chiefs,” he alleged.“We will submit the letter to power officials who will issue a demand note and release the connection,” said farmers. “The Akali leadership is finally giving us connections on priority as we are their supporters,” they said, adding that they would back Tohra in the Assembly elections.The DC could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
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