Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today strongly condemned the Congress government for insulting and demeaning farmers by instructing bank officials to hold Dharnas in front of their houses to force them to repay their bank dues.
In a press release here, former minister and Vice President of the SAD, Dr. Daljit Singh Cheema said the Congress had shown its real face to the farmer community by passing such inhuman instructions to bank officials. He said however by holding Dharnas in front of houses of farmers who were already aggrieved due to the Congress government failure to waive off their loans, the bank officials had crossed all limits.
"Earlier these officials were pasting notices on farmer houses and even making public denouncing them as defaulters through loudspeakers. But by now holding Dharnas they have done the unthinkable. They should know that it is the government which is responsible for farmers not paying their loans. If they have to hold Dharnas they should hold them in front of elected Congress representatives, ministers and even the chief minister and not farmer houses", he added.
Condemning the action of the Punjab Agricultural Development Bank officials, who recently held dharnas in the houses of farmers at Ghanour, Chappar and Harpalpur villages in Patiala district, Cheema said the Congress party was playing a double game with the farmers. On one hand announcements have been made to waive off loans up to Rs. 2 lakh and on the other hand bank officials are being asked to hold dharnas at farmers houses or make arrests to force them to repay their loans.
Holding the Congress government responsible for the rising number of farm suicides in the state, the SAD leader said more than 300 farmers have committed suicide due to the anti-farmer policies of the Amarinder Singh government. He said using cruel methods for loan recovery would further push the already distressed farmer community into depression which may result in further rise in farm suicides.
Asking the state government to direct bank officials to immediately stop using such cruel methods for loan recovery from farmers in the state, the SAD leader said that rather, the Congress government should immediately implement its promise of complete loan waiver of Rs 90,000 crore to pull out the farm community from their financial crisis.