Patiala: Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) on Saturday flayed the Centre's announcement of providing direct financial assistance to farmers as relief in the wake of poor rain.

The party's general secretary and chief spokesman Prem Singh Chandumajra, while addressing a news conference here, said that by giving direct relief to farmers, UPA government was trying to create "divide" between SAD party and the farmers.

He also lambasted the Congress MPs of the state who lobbied hard for direct payment with the Centre.

Questioning the Centre's move, Chandumajra said financial relief to farmers could not be given without using state's machinery.

He said that Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and Jairam Ramesh should not have "endorsed" direct payment as demanded by Congress MPs.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday said that the Centre had desired to give direct payment to farmers in Punjab and  Haryana for spending additional expenditure like on diesel to run water pumps to save their kharif crops.

Punjab had demanded central packages of Rs 5,112 crore in the wake of deficient rain this kharif season, raising additional expenditure of the state government and farmers to save their crops.


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