Punjab CM afraid of facing Centre over direct payment to farmers: Sukhbir

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Ajnala (Amritsar), Apr 1 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal president chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Thursday alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is “afraid” of standing up to the BJP-led Centre over the issue of direct payment to farmers for wheat procurement.

That was why he has not taken any concrete step to stop the implementation of the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for the procurement of the forthcoming crop, he alleged.

Talking to the media after addressing a gathering here, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president alleged that the CM is “playing a fixed match” with the Centre, which was clear from the fact that Amarinder Singh asked for time to implement the scheme instead of declining to implement it.

“It is clear that the chief minister has become part of the central conspiracy to punish the farmers of Punjab for opposing the three agricultural laws”, he alleged.

Punjab 'arthiyas' (commission agents) are up in arms against the Centre's latest directive for direct payment to farmers for grain procurement.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday assured “arhtiyas” of his government’s full support for the restoration of the older system of payment through them.

Earlier addressing the gathering, the SAD chief took on AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly playing a 'double game' on the agricultural laws.

He said Kejriwal had enacted a 'big drama' of opposing the farm laws during the party's recent meeting in Baghapurana even though his government was the 'first to implement the laws in Delhi'.

He took on Punjab CM Amarinder Singh, asked him to name one hospital, college or road he had constructed during the last four years. The SAD established 13 universities, 30 colleges and 300 hundred skill centres during its tenure, he claimed.

He said rather than do anything, the chief minister had 'defaulted' on a holy oath he took in the name of the 'Gutka Sahib', promising to waive loans of farmers.

'Similarly, the CM has also backstabbed the youth whom he had promised jobs besides an unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month,' said Sukhbir. PTI JMS CHS VSD RDK RDK