Chandigarh, Oct 5: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to commit that the Congress government would take complete responsibility of the farmers by acceding to the demand of former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to start procurement of foodgrains on the state’s behalf as per the minimum support price (MSP).
In a statement here, senior party leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal said that it was widely believed that Sidhu was the mascot of Rahul Gandhi in Punjab.
“The Gandhi family even deputed Congress general secretary Harish Rawat to mollify Sidhu and ensure his presence in the ongoing flop tractor rally being undertaken in the state. It is only fair to assume that Rahul Gandhi will accede to Sidhu’s demand to safeguard the rights of the farmers by ensuring 100 per cent procurement of wheat and paddy by the state.
“This is also in consonance with the directive of the Congress President asking all the Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states to formulate their own laws under Article 254 of the Constitution to bypass the farm laws enacted by the Centre,” Grewal said.
Asking Rahul Gandhi to come up with solutions instead of resorting to ‘tamashas’ and photo ops in tractors fitted with luxury style sofa chairs, Grewal said the former Congress president was in the habit of visiting states going to the polls to befool the farmers.
He said this was seen in the case of Madhya Pradesh where Rahul Gandhi visited a suicide victim’s family in the run-up to the Assembly polls there.
“However, Rahul Gandhi did not deign it fit to visit Punjab during the last few years despite hundreds of farmers’ suicides because his government failed to fulfil the complete loan waiver promise made to the farmers,” the SAD leader said.
Grewal further said that Rahul Gandhi did not utter a single word to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh even during his ongoing visit to address the grievances of the state’s farmers.
He said Rahul Gandhi seemed to have forgotten that his party had promised ‘ghar ghar naukari’ to Punjabis and an unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month to the youth.
“Forget implementing any of these promises, Rahul Gandhi did not even direct Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to release Rs 450 crore due to the sugarcane farmers of the state from the government and cooperative sugar mills,” he added.