Pink bollworm attack on cotton crop: Meeting with Punjab govt postponed

Non-completion of girdwari of cotton crop spread across 3.25 acres and CM's non-availability due to his son's wedding were the main reasons for the postponement at the last minute.

A MEETING between farmers and Punjab government officials regarding the demand of compensation for cotton crop damage due to pink bollworm, scheduled for Saturday, got postponed to October 13.

Non-completion of girdwari of cotton crop spread across 3.25 acres and CM’s non-availability due to his son’s wedding were the main reasons for the postponement at the last minute.

BKU Ugrahan had started their ‘pakka dharna’ outside the house of Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal in his native village Badal on October 5 and are still at the same spot.

Shingara Singh Mann, general secretary of BKU Ugrahan, said, “On Friday, we had a meeting with DC Muktsar Harpreet Singh Sudan where he told us that our meeting with Punjab government officials will happen on Saturday morning…however that meeting got cancelled on Friday night as it was stated that CM Charanjit Singh Channi is busy in his son’s wedding due to which any decision on the issue couldn’t be taken. We will decide as whether we want to have meeting with CM’s secretary or CM himself. As of now, our dharna is going on outside the house of Manpreet Singh Badal as usual.” 

Following this decision, BKU Ugrahan broke all barricades and gheraoed the house of Manpreet Singh Badal while earlier they were sitting 100 metres away. Even on October 7, they had done the same but had gone back after half an hour when SDM Gidderbaha visited the spot and had assured that their talk with government will happen the next day. 

Shingara Singh said, “Our meeting was scheduled with principal secretary to CM, financial commissioner revenue and agriculture secretary on Saturday afternoon. However, it didn’t happen. Hence we have gheraoed Manpreet Badal’s house yet again.”

He added, “It is sad that the CM has got no time to handle farmers’ issues, or he should authorise someone for the same. Now we have an agriculture minister too.”

However, Muktsar DC Harpreet Singh Sudan said, “As of now deputy commissioners are busy completing girdwari of cotton crop…we have not cancelled the meeting but have postponed it till October 13…by then, girdwari will be complete and government will be able to calculate as how much is the damage and what should be the budgetary allocation…hence before having the meeting with farmers, there will be some facts before the government to discuss and take decisions…In addition to this CM will also be free by then and hence decision-making will be fast. We are trying to convince the union members on the same issue.” 

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