Punjab's main opposition party AAP today accused the Congress government of "harassing" farmers in the name of stubble burning.
Punjab’s main opposition party AAP today accused the Congress government of “harassing” farmers in the name of stubble burning. The party said it will, on October 16, submit memorandums to the deputy commissioners at each district in the state to seek stoppage of alleged undue harassment of farmers. “AAP MLAs and other office bearers will submit memorandum representations to the deputy commissioners concerned throughout Punjab on Monday for stopping the undue harassment of farmers by the government in the name of stubble burning,” said party state co-president Aman Arora in a statement here. A meeting of Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and office bearers was held in the presence of party state president Bhagwant Mann and co-president Arora here yesterday in this regard. The issue of alleged harassment of farmers by the government in the name of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders on stubble burning was discussed thoroughly, Arora said. He accused the government of failing to perform its duty and was now “forcing the farmers to save the skin”.
“As per the orders of NGT, the para 14 clause ‘C’ clearly states that harvesting, transportation and proper utilisation of the crop residue is the primary responsibility of the state government. “In case, the government is not able to do so then it has to pay the compensation to the farmers as per the land holding,” Arora said. He said, “The clause ‘H’ of the same order says that the state will provide machines, mechanism and equipments to farmers for the purpose of destroying agricultural residue”.
Arora said the AAP was concerned about air pollution caused by stubble burning but it should not be an excuse to harass the already indebted farmers of the state.
“Farmers are already committing suicides in the state and the number of suicides is increasing by the day. The government must focus on providing relief to the farmers rather than accusing them for its own failure,” he said.
The AAP leader also demanded that VAT on diesel and petrol must be reduced as was done by governments in Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.