Amarinder holds dharna outside Punjab CM’s residence

Chandigarh, Aug 21 (IANS) Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh on Friday began a protest dharna outside the official residence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here.

The sit-in was organised to press for payments to sugarcane growers and to protest the delay in payment of compensation to farmers whose crops were damaged in unseasonal rains and floods in the state.

Other state Congress leaders and party legislators were also present at the dharna.

After Amarinder announced his protest plan on Wednesday, the Badal government announced the release of Rs.90 crore payment for sugarcane farmers. The Badal government also promised to release another Rs.90 crore to farmers next month.

Amarinder Singh, a former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha member from Amritsar, said Punjab farmers were suffering due to the state government’s apathy.

He said the Badal government had failed to pay compensation to farmers whose wheat crops were damaged, whereas sugarcane farmers have not been paid for their produce since December last year.

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