LAST UPDATED: March 15, 2021, 6:42 p.m.
Chandigarh. Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government for purposely trying to strangle the farmers of Punjab by tightening the procurement standards, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state president and MP Bhagwant Mann and party’s Punjab affairs incharge Jarnail Singh said that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) was proposing tighter regulations for procurement of food grains in the upcoming harvest season.
Addressing a press conference convened at the party headquarters here on Monday, the leaders said that the FCI was claiming that these regulations were being done to procure better quality food grains that can be exported, but in reality it was to suppress and strangle the farmers.
“The type of regulations and the suddenness with which these regulations have been announced show that the central government and PM Modi are trying to strangle the farmers of Punjab,” said Mann. He said the FCI was proposing that the moisture content in the grains be reduced from 14% to 12% for wheat and paddy.
Mann said that this regulation was absolutely preposterous because sometimes before the harvest, the farmers experience rain which increases the moisture content. Similarly, the FCI had proposed that prevalence of other food grains in wheat would not be allowed, he added.
Mann said that even this standard was impossible to meet because during storage, food grains tend to get mixed. He said that with these regulations, the majority of the produce of Punjab would be unsuitable for procurement. “This is not the first time that the Central government is doing this.
The central government had recently passed a notification stating that the MSP would be given only to those farmers who had proper land records,” he said, adding that in Punjab, 45% of land is leased to smaller farmers and this would adversely hamper the process of getting the MSP.
Further taking a dig at Modi government, Mann said that by announcing such regulations suddenly and at the time when just one month was left for harvest was a clear sign that the Modi-led central government wants to strangle the farmers of Punjab.
“They want to punish the farmers for speaking up against PM Modi, but I want to tell the PM that the farmers of Punjab will not die down so easily. They won’t be suppressed. They will fight back even stronger,” he said. Mann said that to fight these injustices and to make the agitation stronger, AAP’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is coming to Punjab on March 21 at Bagha Purana.
“He will speak for the farmers and he will resonate the voices of the farmers so loud that it will resonate till the corridors of power in Delhi. The central government would be forced to take notice,” he added.