Bhinder Singh, a farmer from the nearby Bhaini Bhaga village, said: “The harvest has been late this time because of the prolonged winter and unexpected rainfall. And now a lot more wheat has arrived at the mandi at the same time. The government did nothing to tackle this challenge. There are not even enough gunny bags to pack and transport the wheat. If our grain is destroyed, we will lose heavily this season.”
Bhinder Singh was one of the beneficiaries of the Congress government’s farm loan waiver scheme. He had taken a Rs 2.5 lakh loan from Union Bank of India and he got a relief of Rs 2 lakh. He said the loan waiver was a big boon to him.
When asked to choose between Modi’s PM-KISAN
that envisages a minimum income to every farmer and Rahul Gandhi’s promise of farm loan waivers, he said: “Even if my loan is waived, what is the guarantee that I won’t become a defaulter or debtor again? I would prefer money in my bank account.”
The protesting farmers guided the travellers along the canal through another route. But, at villages in Bathinda district where loans of many farmers had been waived, none echoed Bhinder’s preference to Modi’s alternative idea.