Chandigarh, May 17-
Asserting that farmers agitation was unwarranted and undesirable, the Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today asked the farm unions to stop mere sloganeering and join hands with state government for checking the depleting water table in Punjab.
In a statement issued here today, the Chief Minister categorically said that staggered program for sowing of paddy won’t harm the interests of the farmers but it can act as a catalyst to save the water table in state. Bhagwant Mann said that he was acting as per the path shown by the great gurus and no one can stop him from that. He unequivocally said that his doors are open for talks with the farmers but hollow slogans can’t broke his firm resolve to check the further depletion of water table.
The Chief Minister said that he is son of a farmer and knows it well that what was requirement of the farmers adding that he is fully aware of difference between June 10 and June 18. However, Bhagwant Mann said that he doesn’t owe any patent for water and air but even he owes a larger responsibility towards saving these natural precious resources. He said that instead of staging protest, the farmers should come forward and support the state government for this noble cause aimed at betterment of Punjab and Punjabis. Bhagwant Mann said that he had already announced purchasing the Basmati and Moongi crop on MSP adding that the state government was also incentivising the farmers adopting direct sowing.
The Chief Minister asked the farmers to support him for an year and said that if the farmers suffer any loss during this period then the state government will fully compensate them. He asked the agitating farmers unions to tell that whether he was wrong because he is thinking about saving the water and checking environmental pollution in the state. Bhagwant Mann also asked the agitating unions that why they were mum when a bus of school children met an accident due to straw burning at Batala or when two small children died due to fire.
The Chief Minister said that it is the high time that all of us should make concerted efforts for saving Punjab instead of indulging in such tantrums. Bhagwant Mann said that he had been raising the issue of farmers in Lok Sabha and now also he is duty bound to secure their interests. However, he said that Farmers should also realise the gravity of situation and support the state government.