Badal: Will give legal aid to Gujarat’s Sikh farmers

Patiala, Punjab: Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said he would meet national BJP president Rajnath Singh over the issue of eviction of Sikh farmers from their land in Kutch. He said he had already formed a delegation under Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to take up the matter with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking on the sidelines of the swearing-in of the newly elected sarpanches and panches here today, the Chief Minister said his government was serious on solving the problems of the Sikh farmers in Gujarat.“Our government will ensure free legal aid to these farmers who are fighting their case in the Supreme Court. I will meet Rajnath Singh to get some respite for them,” he said.

Expressing concern at the rising trend of migration from villages to cities in Punjab, Badal said he had instructed officers to acquaint themselves with the problems being faced by village residents.

He said he had issued instructions to the officers to interact with elected representatives and solve the problems of the people. “The growing trend of migration from villages to the cities needs to be checked and the foremost step in this direction is to provide basic amenities in rural areas on a par with those in urban areas,” he said.

The Chief Minister assured Rs 1,700 crore for rural roads and Rs 1,607 crore for drinking water. Addressing the newly elected sarpanches and panches, he directed the officers to give them due respect. “Any complaint of misbehaviour with the representatives of the people will be dealt with strictly,” he warned.

Badal alleged that the UPA Government, instead of helping Punjab in crop diversification, was creating hurdles in the way. “The Union Government is not helping Punjab by denying minimum support price (MSP) and support mechanism to alternative crops like maize and sugarcane,” he said.

Cabinet Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mantar Singh Brar and other local leaders accompanied the Chief Minister

Ludhiana: Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that by not transferring Chandigarh to Punjab, the Centre had done grave injustice to the state. He was in city to administer oath to the newly elected panches. He, however, said: “We can’t launch a morcha for every demand of ours.” He alleged that the UPA Government had ruined the state’s industry by giving incentives to neighbouring states.

Badal said the Punjab farmers were reeling under a huge debt of Rs 30,000 crore owing to the “wrong policies” of the Centre.

Source: The Tribune

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