Associate of Punjab minister manufacturing 'spurious' paddy seeds, alleges SAD leader

Chandigarh, May 23 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday alleged a close associate of a Punjab Cabinet minister was involved in the manufacturing of 'spurious' paddy seeds.

Paddy seeds, which were not approved by the Punjab Agricultural University, were being sold to farmers, senior leader SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said in a statement here.

An FIR had been registered in this regard after a farmers' group raised the issue, the Opposition leader said. Majithia said no action had been taken against the seeds manufacturer as he was a close to a ruling party leader.

The Akali leader said the FIR was registered in Ludhiana after the farmers approached the agriculture department with information that 'spurious' seeds were being sold at inflated rate -- Rs 200 per kg.

Majithia said a raid was conducted at a seed shop in Ludhiana and more than 750 quintals of seeds -- packaged as PR-129 -- and 100 quintals of seeds -- packaged as PR-128 -- were seized.

Demanding an inquiry into the matter, Majithia said it was clear that both the manufacturer of the seeds and the sellers had committed fraud against the farmers who are going through a crisis and many were committing suicide. PTI CHS VSD IND IND