Akali Dal slams panjab government over failure to compensate cotton growers

CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal criticized the Congress-led Punjab government on Saturday for “miserably failing” to compensate cotton farmers in the country’s cotton belt who suffered “major losses” as a result of pink bollworm assault.

“The government’s noncommittal  approach had brought self destruction in the suicide of five farmers in the last four days in Bathinda alone,” the SAD stated in a statement issued here.

SAD Sikander Singh Maluka, president of the Kisan Wing, claimed that Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and his deputy Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa used theatrics during their trip to the state’s cotton heartland to assess crop losses caused by the pink bollworm outbreak.

He claimed that the government did not perform a ‘girdawari’ (revenue survey) to estimate the losses, nor did it provide quick compensation to farmers who had incurred massive losses due to crop devastation.

Channi and Randhawa had gone to Bathinda a few days ago to examine the damage to the cotton crop caused by the bug infestation.

Maluka claimed that the pink bollworm outbreak ruined a cotton crop spanning thousands of acres.

The distressed farmers are committing suicide, but the Congress administration is too preoccupied with internal squabbling to address their concerns, he claims.

Spraying hundreds of litres of pesticide has also not aided farmers, he claims.