Gurdaspur MP, Pratap Singh Bajwa is a household name in Punjab politics for his dash, result-oriented politics. Though low profile, Bajwa in Punjab has always been in the forefront of the state’s all round development and yet be away from all controversies unlike many of his colleagues. As an MP in the capital also, he continues to maintain his similar self and yet is always engaged in works for the development of Punjab which according to him is in its lowest ebb of development. He talks on this and more in an exclusive interview with LOK PANCHAYAT.
Your opinion on agriculture in Punjab today?
Agriculture is not at all alright in Punjab. Partly because of the state government in Punjab and partly because of paucity of facilities for agriculture in Punjab. In Punjab, water for irrigation, irrigation facilities, new seeds, farming machinery of international standards are not there. The state’s farmers are far behind agricultural techniques. They have gone behind the pervading time. Resultwise, agriculture has hit rock bottom in Punjab. Farmers, agriculturists, land owners, land lords etc directly or indrectly associated with agriculture have become helpless, hapless.
What should be done to change that scenario so that Punjab becomes top in agriculture again?
Undoubtedly, Punjab state needs another green revolution (and immeditaely). Farmers of Punjab are also demanding the same. They want immediate progress in agriculture. It will be betrayal of facts that there will be progress in agriculture in Punjab as long as there will be no second green revolution in the state.
Not long ago, Punjab was considered to be the highest agriculture-producing in the country. How come the state is in such an apalling condition today in agriculture?
It is true that once Punjab was highest agriculture-producing state in the whole country. I’ve already said it that it is because of the wrong policies of the state government, such dangers in the state’s agriculture have arisen. It is indeed an irony that once Punjab used to fulfil the agricultural needs of other states. Today, the same state is facing shortage of agriculture and is hungry.
How to tackle such a situation?
For this, the state should make a agriculture-policy. Along side, a new bill should be bright so that the (agricuture) lands should benefit from latest and ongoing agriculture-techniques. The State Government should make provisions for farmers’ electricity, water, seeds, loan for farming etc. If need to be, the State Government should take help and due assistance from the Centre. Akali Government is unsuccessful in this so far.
Are there differences between the State Government and Central Government?
Distances (of differences) are continuously increasing between the (Punjab) state and the Centre. The State Government does not want to work in the policies of the Central Government. In there state, there are no new electricity facilities. No new power houses. The State Government is not running any project sponsored by the Central Government. The Prime Minister has continuously made efforts to know the difficulties faced by the state’s direct and indirect problems faced by the farmers. but there has been not response so far. If all MPs (cutting across their party affiliations) from Punjab unitedly take up the cause of the farmers in Punjab state then I am sure that the distances between Punjab and the Centre will reduce and a solution to the present problem will be found.