Akali Dal to organize 'thanksgiving rally' for Modi over MSP hike
Chandigarh, July 7 : Terming the increase in minimum support price (MSP) of kharif crops "historic" and "unprecedented", the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday announced that it will organize a 'thanksgiving rally' for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab next week.
The Prime Minister will address the rally, to be held on Wednesday (July 11) in Malout town of the state's Muktsar district, in which farmers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are expected to participate in big numbers.
SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday announced the party, an alliance partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the centre, would hold a thanksgiving rally to mark the biggest hike in MSP of paddy which was announced by the Modi government earlier this week.
Badal, who presided over a meeting of party legislators, party candidates and district presidents at the head office here on Saturday, said the rally would be attended by farmers of Punjab, as well as neighbouring Haryana and Rajasthan.
"The party rank and file as well as the farmers of Punjab were waiting anxiously to give a rousing welcome to the Prime Minister for his bold and decisive step to implement the Swaminathan Commission report which called for 50 per cent profit on input cost. The rally is being jointly hosted by the BJP," Badal said in a statement here.
"We are confident this will be a historic occasion on which the entire farming community will come together on one platform to thank Narendra Modi ji for the largesse extended to the farming community," he added.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has dismissed the MSP hike announced by the Centre as "nothing more than a cosmetic measure" and added that it does not address the core concerns of the farming community.
"The increase announced by the Central government did not meet the expectations of the distressed farming community, nor was it adequate to address the root of the problem, as identified by the Swaminathan Commission," he had said in his reaction.