Chandigarh, Jan 13 (IANS APunjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday condemned the Akali Dal leadership for raising a hue and cry over the farm loan waiver package and trying to project themselves as "messiahs" of the farmers to "promote their petty political interests".
Accusing the Shiromani Akali Dal for pushing farmers into a vicious debt trap with their lopsided policies during their rule (2007-2017), he dismissed the demand of the Akali Dal for a Rs 90,000 crore farm loan waiver package.
"Their obnoxious demand for a Rs 90,000 crore farm loan waiver package is senseless.
After doing nothing for the farmers during their decade-long rule, the Akalis were trying desperately to pick at straws in a bid to find some issue to play to the public gallery and revive their political fortunes," he said in a statement here.
Reacting strongly to a memorandum submitted by the Akali Dal to the Punjab Governor seeking directions to the government for a Rs 90,000 crore loan waiver, Amarinder Singh said: "If they were so concerned about the plight of farmers, why did they not do anything for the uplift of the farming community all these years.
"They are just playing to the public gallery on such a sensitive issue, which had serious financial implications.
"In fact, the pitiable condition of the farmers was the result of the anti-people policies of the erstwhile Akali government."
Amarinder Singh said that the 10-month old Congress government in Punjab, led by him, was trying its best to revive the state's financial condition and raise funds.
"The government has succeeded in raising enough funds to start the process of loan waiver for small and marginal farmers indebted to cooperative institutions.
This is a remarkable achievement considering the prevailing situation," he added.