Rahul Gandhi's concern for farmers a political stunt: Badal

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Muktsar (Punjab), June 22: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's sudden concern for the farmers was nothing but a "political stunt".

"The long spell of Congress party's misrule under the Gandhi family had broken the backbone of farmers," he told reporters at Muktsar, some 250 km from Chandigarh.

'Rahul's concern for farmers a stunt'

He said the anti-farmer stance of the Congress and its regressive policies ruined the farmers in the country and they were now reeling under mounting debt.

Badal said the ever escalating costs of farm inputs coupled with non-remunerative minimum support price of the crops have rendered agriculture a non-profitable venture.

The chief minister's remark came four days after Gandhi met the family of a debt-ridden farmer who committed suicide in a Punjab village after his crops were destroyed by unseasonal rains.

Surjit Singh, a 60-year-old debt-ridden farmer, who had met the Congress vice president on April 28 after his crops were destroyed by unseasonal rain, committed suicide on June 10 by consuming poison.

Badal said it was ironic that the ones responsible for farmers' agony were now shedding crocodile tears over the crisis caused due to their ill-conceived policies.

"The sole purpose of entire gimmick of Gandhi during his recent tours to the state was to score brownie points before the media rather than solving any issue of farmers," he said.

Gandhi, on April 28, had boarded a train from Delhi to Ambala in Haryana to see their condition. He also visited Punjab to look at farmers' situation.

Badal's Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been running an alliance government in Punjab since 2007.

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