Chandigarh, June 14, 2018: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today established a helpline to come to the aid of beleaguered farmers whose standing paddy crops are being destroyed on the orders of the Congress government, even as it asked its senior as well as district leadership to forcefully oppose this move across the State.
In a statement here, former minister and SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said the party had created a helpline with number 9815399333 which would become operational today evening at 7 pm so that a concerted effort could be made to stop persecution of farmers for transplanting paddy as per the traditional guidelines.
Majithia said it was shameful that an elected government was riding roughshod over farmers by passing one sided orders without even understanding the reasons why they wanted to transplant paddy as per the traditional deadline of June 10.
Stating that the farmers had well founded reasons to start paddy transplantation by June 10, the Akali leader said foremost was the fact that all arrangements had been tied up around this date. He said paddy nursery had been sown as per this date and even labour contracts done with migrant labour.
“Delaying transplantation by ten days gives the crop less time to ripen and effects yields. It also ensures there is more moisture content making it difficult to sell. Also farmers who want to fit in a third crop by sowing paddy in time will be hit,” he said.
The SAD leader also said that delaying paddy transplantation would also harm the environment and increase pollution levels. He said farmers would not get any time to dispose of paddy stubble due to late sowing and would perforce have to burn the stubble causing an environment crisis in the Northern region.
Majithia also condemned the Congress government for threatening farmers that their crop would not be procured if they sowed paddy before June 20.
Asking the Congress government not to act in such a heartless and inhuman manner, Majithia also appealed to government employees to understand the plight of the farmers and not become part to destruction of their standing crops.