SAD promises govt job to kin of farmers who died during stir against farm laws

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Chandigarh, Jul 9 (PTI) Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday promised government job to the kin of farmers who died during the agitation against the Centre's farm laws if the coalition led by his party comes to power in the state.

Badal's statement drew a sharp reaction from Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who slammed the SAD leader for his “shameless” attempts to “befool” farmers by announcing poll promises that the current state government had already started executing a long ago.

Amarinder Singh in a statement asked Badal to check his facts before shooting through his mouth.

The SAD president also assured free education to children and grandchildren of the farmers who lost their lives during the protest.

The SAD is contesting the 2022 Assembly polls in the state in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

“Today, I assure Punjabis: Immediately after forming the govt in 2022, SAD-BSP will honour the martyrs of Kisan Andolan with one govt job per family, free education to their children & grandchildren till post-graduation & health insurance cover to the entire family,” said Badal in a tweet.

In a video posted on his Twitter handle, Badal said for the past seven months, farmers have been camping at the Delhi borders, demanding repeal of the “black” farm laws brought by the Modi government at the Centre.

He said more than 550 farmers have “laid down” their lives during this agitation.

If the SAD-BSP alliance comes to power, its first decision will be to provide government jobs to a family member of each farmer who died during the agitation, Badal said.

He also hoped that farmers would be victorious in their agitation against the three farm legislations.

Later, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh trashed Badal's announcements and termed them as a “last-ditch” effort to woo back the farmers whom his party had “alienated” over the farm laws.

“Do you think Punjab's farmers are fools to be taken in by your desperate statements,” asked the chief minister.

“How do you propose to do something that has already been done,” he further asked, adding that “we had made these announcements while you were still busy conspiring with your political masters, the BJP, to destroy our farmers.” Ridiculing Badal's “pipe dream” of the Akalis coming to power in Punjab, whose people he and his party had “ruined” during the 10 years of the SAD-BJP rule, the CM said with his “frivolous” promises, Badal has proved his total absence of any connect with the people on the ground.

His government is already giving a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the each farmer who died during the course of the agitation, the CM said.

Of the 237 Punjab farmers who had died so far during the ongoing agitation, families of 191 have already got the compensation totalling Rs 9,46,50,000, the CM said.

Compensation for the rest of the families is under process and will be paid long before the Akalis even finalise their campaign for the elections, he said in the statement.

The CM further pointed out that he had personally announced jobs for the kin of the dead farmers several months ago and the Revenue Department is in advanced stages of finalising the candidates. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK

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