The Chief Ministers of Punjab and Haryana are locked in a battle of words over which state is doing better on the agriculture front. Amarinder Singh and Manohar Lal Khattar’s exchanges come in the back drop of a months-long protest against three central farm laws and a couple of events from the past few days.
Haryana’s Khattar today posted a series of tweets listing his state’s welfare schemes for farmers and asked the Punjab Chief Minister to decide for himself who was ‘pro-farmer’.
For instance, he posted: “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?”
Similarly, he said, “Haryana pays every farmer Rs 1,000 per acre for stubble management and provides linkages for sale of paddy straw. What incentive does Punjab provide to the farmer?”
2.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?
— Manohar Lal (@mlkhattar) August 30, 2021
The Haryana Chief Minister’s tweet storm seemed to be in response to Mr Singh’s jibe at him, taunting his party, the BJP, to withdraw the three controversial farm laws against which thousands of farmers have been protesting, especially along Delhi’s borders, since last November.
“You repeal the farm laws and not just the farmers but even I will share laddoos with you,” Mr Singh said today.
He also slammed Mr Khattar for allegedly defending the assault on protesting farmers. Mr Singh referred to a recent video that went viral on social media showing a senior Haryana official giving explicit instructions to the police to thrash farmers.
All this was in answer to another of Mr Khattar’s comments — this one on farmer leaders seen feeding the Punjab Chief Minister sweets after the latter, on August 24, announced a higher state advisory price for sugarcane.
Accusing the Punjab government of driving the farmers’ agitation against the BJP-led Centre, he said alleged that farmer leaders won’t be offering sweets to Mr Singh.
“You can count people sitting on Delhi’s borders. They are mostly from Punjab, not from Haryana. Farmers of Haryana are satisfied,” Mr Khattar said at a press conference earlier today.