Punjab CM to take up Kutch farmers' issue with Narendra Modi

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Gandhinagar, Sept 6: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will raise the issue of Sikh farmers in Kutch with his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi during his visit here on September 9. Badal will take part in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Agricultural Summit where he has been invited as one of the premier guests.

Sources in Chandigarh said the two chief ministers will discuss the issue at length. Badal's Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government in Punjab had an issue with the Gujarat government's pursuing the farmers' case in the Supreme Court and wanted to settle it politically. The agitated farmers were of the opinion that the Gujarat government should not have appealed in the apex court against the high court's verdict given in their favour. They are now looking forward to the Badal-Modi talks.

The farmers are eagerly looking forward to the talks between the two CMs

The farmers have alleged that the Gujarat administration invoked a populist law of 1973 to freeze land holdings of nearly 1,000 farmers in the last three years. Under the law passed under the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act 1948 which does not permit sale of agriculture land in Gujarat to people who are not traditional farmers in the state.

Sikh agriculturists own 20,000 acres in the Kutch region which they claim to have trmade agriculture-friendly through hard work. According to the farmers, around 10,000 farmers from northern parts of India had come to Kutch in 1965 after being invited by the then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in the wake of a war with Pakistan to settle there and work for the development of the region and strengthen the border with the hostile neighbour.

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