Aam Aadmi Party today accused Punjab agriculture minister Tota Singh of being involved in the supply of inferior quality pesticides to cotton farmers, some of whom committed suicide after losses to their crops, and demanded his sacking and criminal proceedings against him.
AAP alleged that the pesticide supplied to the farmers was not only of inferior quality, but it was also being sold by a “dubious” company following which cotton growers suffered losses due to white-fly disease inflicting their crops, leading to reports suicide by some of them in Punjab.
AAP’s Punjab Co-Convenor Durgesh Pathak claimed that until last year Punjab State Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation Ltd (Markfed), a NAFED-like body would buy pesticides and then supply it in retail market.
“This year, the farmers had to spray pesticide 13-14 times unlike the unusual practise of 2-3 times. Each spray would cost the farmers Rs 3,300-3,500. As the pesticide was not showing any effect, testing was done by authorities during which it was ..
“This was done in connivance with the state agriculture minister Tota Singh and he should not only be sacked, but a criminal proceeding should also be initiated against him,” Pathak said.