Bathinda: Punjab Congress leaders on Saturday drew the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the plight of the state's farmers in a novel way by welcoming him with a bouquet of wheat plants on his arrival at the airport here to inaugurate the refinery project.

A delegation of Congress leaders led by CLP leader Sunil Jakhar sought special attention for the Punjab farmers who had helped make the state the food bowl of the country.

Jakhar appealed to the Prime Minister that the Centre must declare a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal on wheat and ask the Punjab government to give another bonus of Rs 100 per quintal on the lines of what has been done by the Rajasthan government.

"It is important to make farming viable and both central and state government should be liberal in helping farmers," he said, as the delegation shared its concern with the Prime Minister about the economic hardships suffered by farmers including indebtedness which had driven them to commit suicide in many instances.
Expressing hope that the Bathinda refinery will go a long way in helping industrialisation of the state, the delegation said Punjab needed special incentives at par with neighbouring states to give a fillip to its industrialisation.

They also wished the refinery is able to create employment opportunities for people of the state.

The Congress delegation comprised MLAs Ajaib Singh Bhatti, Ajit Inder Singh Mofar, Karan Kaur Brar, Raja Amrinder Singh Waring and Mohammad Sadiq, former MLAs Avtar Singh Brar, Mangat Rai Bansal, Makhan Singh, Harmohinder Singh Jassi and other leaders.