Bathinda, Sep 21 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday held an agitation here against the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) and the Congress -led government in Punjab, claiming that farmers were forced to sell cotton at much lower price than its Minimum Support Price.
Meanwhile, Bathinda MP and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also claimed that farmers were forced to go in for 'distress sale' of cotton crop.
'Condemnable how despite the provision of MSP for cotton, Punjab farmers are forced to go in for distress sale far below that price due to lack of CCI procurement. As Cong govt fails to take this up with CottonCorpOfIndia, @Akali_Dal_ joins farmers in their struggle for justice,' tweeted Harsimrat.
SAD leaders led by Muktsar legislator Kanwarjit Singh Barkandi and former MLA Sarup Chand Singla held a protest at the main cotton purchase yard here.
They claimed that farmers were being forced to sell their cotton crop at Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 per quintal less than the minimum support price of Rs 5,400 per quintal, according to a party statement.
They said the party would launch a state-wide agitation on this issue incase farmers did not get their just dues.
The SAD leaders claimed that as per CCI records, there was no arrival of cotton in the mandi here whereas on the ground more than 7,000 quintals of crop has already arrived at the purchase yard.
The Akali leaders asked the CCI to take corrective action immediately, including taking action against officials, due to which farmers were forced to sell their produce at much lower prices than the MSP fixed by the central government.
They demanded that affected farmers should be compensated.
They also castigated Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for allegedly failing in his duty to get cotton produce procured at the Minimum Support Price.
'As in all other things, the chief minister is least concerned with the welfare of the cotton farmer. The Congress government's refusal to come to the aid of the cotton farmer is also in line with its anti-farmer policies,' said Barkandi. PTI CHS VSD KJ KJ