Gurdaspur (Punjab), Oct 12: Alleging that farmers were being harassed as their paddy crop was not being properly procured in grain markets, Punjab's opposition Congress on Wednesday issued a "look out" notice for the Parkash Singh Badal government.
"Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh today (Wednesday) issued a 'look out' notice for the Badal government as it had gone completely missing from the mandis (grain markets) of the state," said a Congress spokesman.
Amarinder, who launched the Congress's door-to-door outreach campaign with farmer families of the agrarian state on Wednesday, visited a few grain markets in the border belt of Gurdaspur district.
"With the government disappearing from the scene, farmers had been forced to resort to distress sale of paddy at rates much lower than the MSP (minimum support price)," Amarinder said after going to the mandis in in Fatehgarh Churian, Kalanaur, Dera Baba Nanak, Ghaniyae Ke Bet and Batala.
"The farmers told me that the government had virtually suspended the procurement process. I wonder where the government has vanished," he said, adding that farmers had been waiting in the mandis for over a week now with their paddy lying out in the open.
Procurement of paddy started officially on October 1.
Amarinder said the farmers in the border areas had suffered a double blow as they were earlier forced to evacuate their homes and villages and were now being made to wait in the mandis indefinitely to sell their produce.