demanding immediate arrest of all those responsible for the multi-crore Seed scam.
(Submit only independent probe by CBI or HC could give justice to the ‘anndaata’)
(Says duped farmers should be identified district wise and given financial compensation)
Chandigarh, May 28(Geetika) : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today submitted memorandums to Deputy Commissioners across the State demanded the immediate arrest of all those responsible for the multi-crore Seed scam and said only an independent probe by a central agency or the high court could give justice to the ‘anndaata’ whose very livelihood had been put at stake.
SAD leaders led by district presidents as well as MPs, former MPs, legislators, constituency representatives and senior leaders while submitting memorandums to the deputy commissioners for forwarding to State Governor VP Singh Badnore, demanded all farmers who had been duped should be identified district wise and they should be given financial compensation.
The party leaders, who took this step amidst lockdown by maintaining strict social distancing following a decision taken by SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal and the party’s core committee, also rejected the cover up exercise initiated by the government including the latest move to hold a Vigilance inquiry into the case.
Giving details, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia while addressing a media at Amritsar said the Vigilance department was not expected to act against State minister Sukhjinder Randhawa who was accused of patronizing the main accused in the case as well as being a ‘benami’ partner of the accused firm Karnal Agri Seeds. He said this firm which was owned by Lucky Dhillon on record engineered the seed scam by multiplying breeder seeds of PR-128 and PR-129 even before they were released in very small quantities to farmers by PAU, Ludhiana. He said the manner in which Randhawa had batted for Karnal Seeds proprietor Lucky Dhillon by even showing the bill books of the firm proved that they were in cahoots with each other. “In such a situation any inquiry by the Vigilance department does not hold any meaning”, he added.
Talking to newsmen in Mansa, party MP Balwinder Singh Bhundur said the perpetrators of the seed scam had played with the lives of farmers and in case corrective action was not taken immediately more farmers would be pushed into financial ruin and even possible suicides.
Senior leader Dr Daljit Singh Cheema while talking to newsmen in Ropar said only custodial interrogation of spurious seed producer Lucky Dhillon could unravel the entire scam as all its major players had been given more than one fortnight to destroy crucial evidence as well as doctor records. He said an independent probe would also reveal how the accused multiplied the seeds adding a high-level inquiry was also important as the scam had an inter-State dimension also.
Senior leaders including Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon while speaking at Ludhiana said an attempt was being made to politicize the issue by the accused. The leaders said the SAD was focused on the loss caused to the farmers as seed sold at Rs 70 per kg was sold at Rs 200 per kg to farmers by the scamsters.
Speaking on the issue at Mohali, party leader N K Sharma said it was unfortunate that though a FIR was lodged in the case on May 11, the State police had dragged its feet in pursuing the suspects and had allowed a main suspect to even hold press conferences. “This obviously is being done on orders of the political bosses. It is condemnable that the government is protecting the culprits even at the cost of farmers who are the lifeline of the State and its economy”.
Meanwhile the memorandum also demanded an independent probe into the Rs 5,600 crore liquor scam which included a revenue loss of Rs 3,600 crore during the last three years as well as a Rs 2,000 crore scam involving illegal diversion of liquor and ENA from distilleries as well as illegal distilleries and bottling plants set up by frontmen of Congress legislators and leaders. The memorandum also pointed out that the government had even facilitated the mining lobby led by Congressmen by allowing them to deposit only Rs 4.85 crore per month into the State treasury against Rs 26 crore per month due from them. It also demanded a probe into the diversion of food material sent at relief by the centre to the State.
SAD leaders also condemned the Congress government’s decision to end the free power facility extended to farmers by S Parkash Singh Badal in 1997 by bringing in clause of Direct Bank Transfer (DBT) which could not be relied on as the government had failed to give promised benefits to every section of society. The leaders said they would protest any move to end free power facility to farmers tooth and nail.
In Amritsar, Bikram Singh Majithia submitted the memorandum accompanied by Veer Singh Lopoke, Gulzar Singh Ranike and Bony Ajnala. In Gurdaspur Gurbachan Singh Babehalli, Lakhbir Singh Lodhinangal and Ravikaran Kahlon led the delegation. In Ferozepur Avtar Singh Zira led the delegation including Vardev Singh Mann and Joginder Jindu. In Kapurthala Dr Upenderjjit Kaur and Bibi Jagir Kaur led the delegation. In Ludhiana S.Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Manpreet Ayali accompanied Ranjit Singh Dhillon to submit the memorandum. In Moga Tirath Singh Malah led the delegation including Barjinder Singh Brar and Bhupinder Singh Sahoke. In Jalandhar Gurpartap Singh Wadala led a team including Pawan Tinu and Baldev Singh Khaira and Sarabjit Singh Makkar. In Patiala Surjit Singh Rakhra led the delegation including Harpal Juneja. In Bathinda Sikander Singh Maluka was accompanied with Jagdeep Nakai, Sarup Singla, Amit Rattan and Darshan Singh Kotfatta. In Mansa Balwinder Singh Bhundur along with Dilraj Bhundur, Jagdeep Nakai and Dr Nishan Singh submitted the memorandum. In Muktsar Kanwarjit Singh Barkandi led a delegation and in Faridkot Parambans Singh Romana, Mantar Singh Brar and Sube Singh Badal led the party delegation. In Kulwant Singh Keetu was accompanied by Balbir Singh Ghunas and Satnam Singh Rahi. In Hoshiarpur Sohan Singh Thandal, Mohinder Kaur Josh, Arvinder Rasulpur, Jatinder Singh Lalli Bajwa and Sarabjot Sahbi accompanied Surinder Singh to submit the memorandum. In Ropar Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, Harmohan Sandhu and Paramjit Singh Makkar accompanied Paramjit Singh Lakhawal. In Tarn Taran Virsa Singh Valtoha, Harmeet Sandhu, Iqbal Singh and Alwinder Pakhoke submitted the memorandum. In Nawansheher Dr Sukhwinder Sukhi, Jarnail Singh Wahid and Budh Singh Balaki led the delegation. In Mohali N K Sharma led the party delegation. In Fatehgarh Sahib Darbara Singh Guru, Gurpreet Singh Raju khanna, and Didar Bhatti led the delegation.