Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh stirred a hornet’s nest when he accused his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar for “anti-farmer agenda” who now has stuffed the former’s mouth with some telling facts in a series of tweets.
“Who is anti-farmer, Captain Amarinder ji, Punjab or Haryana?
“Haryana procures 10 crops at MSP – paddy, wheat, mustard, bajra, gram, moong, maize, ground nut, sun flower, cotton and makes the MSP payment directly into the account of the farmer. How many crops does Punjab buy from the farmer at MSP?
“Haryana provides an incentive of Rs 7000/- per acre to every farmer who wants to move away from paddy cultivation. What is the incentive that Punjab provides to the farmer similarly?
“Haryana pays interest at 12% to the farmer in case payment is delayed beyond 72 hours from the approval if the I-form. Does Punjab pay interest on delayed payment?
“Haryana pays an incentive of Rs 5000 per acre to the farmer who adopts direct seeding of rice technology. What incentive does Punjab give?
“Haryana pays every farmer Rs 1000 per acre for stubble management and provides linkages for sale of paddy straw. What incentive does Punjab provide to the farmer?
“Haryana has been paying the highest MSP in the country for sugarcane to its farmers for the last 7 years. Why has Punjab felt the need to match Haryana only after an agitation by farmers?
“Haryana supports farmers growing horticultural produce by instituting the Bhawantar Bharpayee Yojana to insulate the farmer from price variations below cost. What incentive does Punjab provide to its horticulture farmers?
“Haryana has started a micro-irrigation scheme to support farmers with 85% subsidy to manage precious water for irrigation. What incentive does Punjab provide, and is it even concerned about the rapidly depleting water table that will finish the farmer?”
So stunning has been the riposte by Khattar that Capt Amarinder Singh hasn’t sought to enjoin the issue even after nearly a day.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman applauded Khattar in a tweet of her own, saying “showcasing the various measures taken by Haryana to address issues concerning farmers, chief minister @mikhattar asks pointed questions to his punjab counterpart @capt_amarinder.”