Chandigarh: Accusing the Union government of being "anti farmer", Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday criticised the Congress-led UPA for not increasing MSP of wheat and demanded a complete diversification package.

The party said the decision to not raise MSP has led to unplanned forced diversification, which will adversely affect the already cash strapped and debt ridden peasantry.

"This action of the Union government has exposed the anti-farmer face of the Congress party," party spokesman Daljeet Singh Cheema told reporters in Chandigarh.

"If the government really wants diversification, then it should come out with complete diversification package and a well-planned long-term strategy. And it should desist from taking selfish and unrealistic decisions like this," he added.

The spokesperson said keeping in view the alarming increase in input costs including that of diesel, one expected a proportionate increase in the MSP. "But it is shocking to know that in spite of the recommendations of the agricultural department, the union government has decided to freeze it", he said.

Coming down heavily on the explanation given by the Centre that MSP of wheat has not been increased because there are sufficient stocks in the country, Cheema said that it amounts to deserting the brave soldiers after winning a battle.

"If there were sufficient stocks in the country, the Centre should have marketed it in a planned way," Cheema said.

The SAD demanded that government should understand the ground reality and immediately increase the wheat MSP to Rs 1800 per quintal to save the farmers of the country. Cheema also demanded all anti-farmer clauses of the terms of reference in Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP) to be scrapped.


(Agencies)

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