Bathinda: Member of Parliament from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal today visited various villages of Bathinda and Maur Mandi amid protests and heated arguments between villagers over the issue of development.
While farmers in Jethuke village had already launched a vehement protest ahead of the MP’s visit, the residents of Rajgarh Kubbe village of Maur entered into heated arguments.
The marriage of the son of a BKU (Ekta-Ugraha) leader was to be held at Jethuke village due to which a large number of farmers had gathered in the village. “Also, there was a bhog ceremony due to which a number of farmers, over 1000, had gathered in the village,” said Harjinder Baggi, a village resident and BKU worker.
Harsimrat was suppose to inaugurate a viaduct on a water channel in the village but viewing the presence of farmers, she visited just for a few minutes.
Route of minister diverted
The route of the MP was also diverted through Tapa Mandi in view of the farmers’ protest at Jethuke. At Rajgarh Kubbe village, the situatation turned volatile even during the presence of the MP who was accompanied by Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon.
While a faction, led by former sarpanch of Rajgarh Kubbe—entered inside the indoor hall of the village while another group led by another former sarpanch, was not allowed to enter. “This led to an infighting between both the groups of villagers and the VIPs were forced to leave in a huff,” said Ram Singh, another BKU leader. The minister and her supporters also faced protests in Jodhpur Pakhar village.
Meanwhile, in a press release issued here, it was stated that the Punjab government has taken the historical decision of compensating the farm labourers for the economic losses incurred due to natural calamity under which compensation worth Rs 64 crore is to be distributed.
This Rs 64 crore is one-tenth of the total compensation awarded to cotton farmers affected by white fly in the cotton belt of Punjab. Union Minister for Food Processing Industry Harsimrat Kaur Badal said this while inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of various projects in the Maur assembly constituency today.
Talking to mediapersons, the MP said the Punjab government has already released Rs 640 crore compensation to 880 cotton farmers, whose one-tenth part Rs 64 crore will now be disbursed amongst the farm labourers. She added that Rs 4 crore has been received for the farm labourers of Bathinda district that will be disbursed soon.
She said the government was now economically helping farm labourers whose households are dependent on the income earned from picking cotton. She said in this hour of distress, the Punjab government stands in support of its farmers and farm laborers.
She said besides Punjab, the cotton belts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have faced the white fly pest wherein Punjab has awarded the maximum compensation to its farmers. The state government increased Rs 3,500 per acre compensation to Rs 8,000 per acre and the compensation was given even to those farmers who suffered losses less than 33 per cent.
The Union Minister said on January 1, 2016 that the Punjab government was going to start Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra Scheme under which people from various religions will be taken to their respective places of pilgrimage free of cost. The second train of the yatra will be flagged off from Raman Mandi (Bathinda) for Sri Nanded Sahib.
Addressing the gathering at Jodhpur Pakhar village, the union minister said the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were two sides of the same coin. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress joined hands with the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) but still lost the elections. In the 2013 Delhi assembly elections, the Congress first refused to partner with AAP, but then went ahead with the coalition which did not work for even six months in the capital.
The MP today laid the foundation stone of Rs 1.77 crore worth of water works in village Jodhpur Pakhar and laid the foundation stone for the widening of Rajgarh Kubbe-Kotli Khurd Road from 10 feet to 18 feet at a cost of Rs 3 crore. Besides, she also inaugurated the new cattle fair ground at Maur.
PWD Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, Deputy Commissioner Dr Basant Garg, SSP Swapan Sharma, ADC (G) Sumeet Kumar Jarangal, SDM Maur Anmol Singh Dhaliwal and others were also present during her visit.
(Courtesy: The Tribune)