CHANDIGARH: As is now par for the course for politicians on the stump, the Congress’ arrowhead in Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh got into a comfort-fitted hi-tech bus and set his Kisan Yatra rolling, vowing to end farmers’ distress in the state.
The widows of nine farmers who committed suicide in recent months waved him on. Before he got on, the Captain vowed to wipe every tear from their faces and waive farm loans should he be voted to power in elections early next year.
Farmer distress is what Amarinder Singh is betting upon in his bid to dislodge the Shiromani Akali Dal. The bus tour will take him around Moga, Faridkot, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Muktsar, Jalalabad and Ferozepur in three-day 500 km spin.
The bus is specially designed, equipped with the usual tour appurtenances such as a hydraulic platform from which he rises to a microphone and lectern system from which to work for the crowd.
Among the widows who met Capt. Amarinder before the flag off was Harbans Kaur, whose husband Sohan Singh committed suicide 22 days ago unable to pay back a debt of Rs. 4 lakh. What aggravated her woes is the fact that the P S Badal government, instead of helping her out, has now gone and put up an electrical tower in the middle of her three bighas of land, rendering it completely useless.
It’s the kind of imagery the Captain reckons will win him good resonance in a state that gave the Green Revolution to India. The theme for the Kisay Yatra is `Karza-Kurki Khatam, Fasal Di Poori Rakam’.
Amarinder’s aim in this tour is to channel farmer distress into animus for the Badal government, which he squarely blames for failing to save farmers from a pitiable existence.
“The Badals are so busy filling their own coffers with the hard-earned money of the people of Punjab that they have no time to even think of their problems,” he said.