Ludhiana: Deficient rains have led to "huge losses" on the agriculture front in Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Thursday said and refuted the Centre's claim that the state did not present its case forcefully before a team sent by it to assess damage due to drought.

The state had suffered huge losses in the matter of paddy production in the absence of adequate rains, Badal claimed.

"At the same time the state government had also to bear the brunt of huge costs involved in providing electricity to the farmers. We had to purchase electricity from various sources to meet the increasing demands of the farmers at higher prices," Badal said, adding "the farmers had to further suffer because of the increased requirement of diesel to save the paddy crop".

Badal refuted the Centre's claim that Punjab did not present its case before it.

"We had strongly presented our case about the losses due to deficient rains before the high-level committee that visited Chandigarh recently to assess the losses suffered by the drought-hit farmers of the state," the chief minister said.

"What else had this committee of senior officials of the Union government came for the state government had presented its case threadbare in the meetings," the SAD patron said.

Badal alleged that "it is unfortunate that the Union ministers are partisan in their approach as they are more worried about catering to their own constituencies or states to which they belong rather than taking care of the whole country in an impartial manner".

Badal also alleged Centre was "discriminating" against certain states and this could be "dangerous" for the country.

 "This attitude is leading towards a mistrust and anger amongst the states, which could lead to dangerous consequences for the country," the 84-year-old leader warned.

According to the Chandigarh's MeT Department on Thursday, from June 1 to September 26, Punjab had received 266 mm of rains as against normal of 488.2, leaving a deficiency of 46 percent.

On Tuesday, Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal accused the UPA government of allegedly ignoring the claim of Rs 5,112 crore drought relief for the farmers despite the state having "maximum rain deficiency in the country".


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