Chandigarh: Farmers under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) on Tuesday held a protest rally here demanding a drought relief package for Punjab farmers and hike in diesel prices by the Centre.

A delegation led by president Balbir Singh Rajewal submitted a memorandum to Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil, seeking a drought relief package and rollback of fuel price hike from the Centre.

They warned if the UPA government did not accept their demands, they will not allow Congress MPs to enter villages and would also hold demonstration outside their houses.

"Despite writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and meeting Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for giving relief to farmers, nothing was done by the Centre, forcing us to hold protest rally," Rajewal claimed.

"We have demanded a relief package of Rs 5,540 crore for Punjab farmers as they had to spend extra money during June and July for saving their crops because of drought-like conditions. Farmers had to bear the burden of Rs 5,000 crore alone on paddy crop," he said here.

The recent hike in diesel prices by over Rs 5 per litre would put more financial burden on them, he said while also expressing concern in case the MSP on wheat is not raised.

"How oil marketing companies can pay dividend when they had been facing losses due to selling their products at lesser rates?" Rajewal asked.

Meanwhile, protest rally held by a large number of farmers coming from all over Punjab caused traffic jam in Chandigarh.


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