Chandigarh: Indian National Lok Dal MLA Abhay Singh Chautala Saturday said he would sit on ‘dharna’ if the ML Khattar government does not clear “outstanding payments” to farmers for procuring their wheat and mustard crop.
“Farmers feel cheated. The government makes tall claims, but reality is something else. The reality is that not even one-third of the total payment due has been credited to the farmers’ accounts after their crop was procured,” the lone INLD legislator told reporters here.
He said if the entire payment of farmers is not cleared June 1, he would sit on ‘dharna’ from June 2.
“And I won’t sit alone. Thousands of farmers will join me in this ‘dharna’ to put pressure on the government to clear their outstanding payments,” he said.
He also demanded that the government should pay interest to the farmers for payments delayed beyond four days. “The government claims it will clear farmers’ payments within 72 hours, but if it fails to do so, it should pay an interest on the delayed payment,” he said.
He also took a dig at his nephew Dushyant Chautala, a JJP leader and the state’s deputy chief minister, who also holds the Food and Civil Supplies and Excise Departments.
“The government has kept a new spokesman these days, who keeps claiming that he propagates Chaudhary Devi Lal’s policies. But the truth is he knows nothing about famers. For the past many days, he has been mentioning the name of a farmer Nirmal Singh to back his claims that crop procurement was going on smoothly. The truth is that Nirmal Singh is Dushyant’s personal security officer,” he claimed.
He said the government knows its mismanagement in crop procurement would soon get “exposed” and “that is why they ask such people (Dushyant) to make statements before the media. Officials hand over documents to them which they read.”
Dushyant Chautala, however, said the payment of farmers and ‘arhtiyas’ or commission agents is made within four days after the wheat is purchased and lifted from the mandis for the warehouses.
He said so far 73 lakh metric tonne of wheat and more than 8 lakh metric tonne of mustard have been successfully procured. In addition to this, more than 5,081 metric tonne of gram has also been procured.
Without naming anyone, Dushyant Chautala said “despite the fact that the procurement process was conducted efficiently, some politicians could not digest the effectiveness of the same.
“The reality is that about Rs 22,000 crore cash credit has already been arranged so as to make timely payments to farmers and 2.5 percent commission for commission agents,” he said.
On the alleged liquor scam in the state, in which a special enquiry team (SET) has been constituted, Abhay Chautala claimed that the SET lacks power and was toothless.
“First the government said it will constitute a SIT, then they set up a SET, which lacks powers,” he said.
Abhay Chautala said it would be better if an inquiry by a sitting judge is ordered into the scam so that an independent probe can be held.
The SET was formed after a huge stock of seized liquor went missing from two godowns in Sonipat district.
The SET was also mandated to check the actual availability of stock in all warehouses and godowns that were sealed by the Excise Department during last two years for any violation, which means it will check whether the stock of liquor which was there on the date of sealing is actually the same or not.