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Ally Akali Dal Says BJP Govt’s Rs 6,000 Cash Dole for Farmers ‘Too Little’

Recently, the Akali Dal spokesperson had threatened to sever the decades-old tie with ruling party, alleging ‘interference in religious matters of the Sikhs’ by the ruling party in the Centre.


Updated:February 4, 2019, 3:13 PM IST
Ally Akali Dal Says BJP Govt’s Rs 6,000 Cash Dole for Farmers ‘Too Little’
File photo of SAD President and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Chandigarh: BJP’s ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday criticised the Centre's direct cash transfer scheme for farmers, and called​ the Rs 6000 provision meagre.

“The Rs 6000 per year announced for farmers is a bit on the lower side. The conditions in Punjab are different from other states. In many of the states only a single crop is grown, while Punjab cultivates two or more crops. Hence, the relief is not as per expectations,” SAD’s President Sukhbir Badal told the media following a core committee meeting in Chandigarh on Sunday.

This isn’t the first time that the ruling party’s ally in the state has hit out at its ally.

Recently, the Akali Dal spokesperson in a Facebook video threatened to sever the decades-old tie with ruling party, over the Centre’s move to amend the the Takht Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Board Nanded Act, 1956, which grants the right to appoint the takht’s managing committee president.

BJP however managed to placate the situation after its party chief, Amit Shah, assured the SAD that they won’t step on the party’s turf.

The SAD has now decided to renew its conflict with the party, this time over the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, which Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced on Friday .

“Our core committee has decided that a high-power delegation comprising our MPs and senior leaders will go and meet the Union Finance Minister and will press upon him to at least double this Rs 6000 support and also bring the farm labourers under pension scheme,” the SAD president said.

On the issue of seat-sharing arrangement with the BJP for the Lok Sabha seats, Sukhbir said, “Numbers are going to stay the same. If there is some interchange, it will be decided upon soon”

The former deputy chief minister has also sought to corner the ruling Congress government in the state and demanded that the Amarinder Singh-led government should also provide a matching grant to the farmers.

Out of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the SAD has while the BJP gets 3- Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Gurdaspur LS seats. The Hoshirpur seat is currently held by union minister Vijay Sampla. The BJP lost the 2017 Gurdaspur by-poll to Congress’ Sunil Jakhar while BJP’s Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina lost the 2017 Amritsar bypoll to Gurjit Singh Aujla of the Congress.

The SAD is now eyeing the Lok Sabha seat from Amritsar which it wants to exchange for the Jalandhar seat. Congress’ Santokh Singh Chaudhary is the present LS MP from Jalandhar.

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