By Ambuj Pandey
New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): Shiromani Akali Dal will stage protest against the Centre's decision to postpone paddy procurement in Punjab and Haryana, said party spokesperson Prem Singh Chandumajra on Friday.
Speaking to ANI, Chandumajra said, "The decision of the central government to postpone the purchase of paddy in Punjab and Haryana from October 1 to October 11 is not good. The central government wants to vent its anger against the farmers and harass them."
"There are heaps of paddy in the mandis, but the government is not ready to buy. Delaying the purchase of paddy by 11 days means the government trying to avoid the government purchases. The doubts of the farmers who have been struggling on the roads for the last one year seem to be coming true," he added.
The SAD leader said the Punjab and Haryana governments should put pressure on the Centre and make the purchase of paddy as soon as possible.
Chandumajra further said, "There will be chakka jams and road blocks in Punjab and Haryana. Shiromani Akali Dal will protest against the government on the streets with farmers and force the government to make the purchase. I request the Punjab and Haryana government to put pressure on the central government to procure paddy at the earliest," he added.
The Central government on Friday announced that procurement of paddy under Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation would commence from October 11 in Punjab and Haryana and has advised all the agencies to gear up to help farmers.
According to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, widespread rainfall has been experienced across Punjab and Haryana during the second fortnight of September and untimely showers have affected the standing paddy crop in both the agrarian states.
"The maximum temperature at most of the places has also been recorded below normal due to the downpour. Because of the untimely rains, the maturity of paddy grains is delayed. As per Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data, rainfall during September is 77 per cent and 139 per cent above normal in Punjab and Haryana respectively," said the Ministry statement.
The ministry further said that the decision to start the procurement of paddy under MSP is in the overall interest of farmers and consumers as well so as to accept paddy stock to ensure quality procurement for millions of consumers under PDS of the National Food Security Programme. (ANI)