Tribune News Service
Malout, July 11
The SAD-BJP cadre on Wednesday showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi that they were upbeat even after losing the Assembly elections in 2016. Every time, the Prime Minister raised a slogan or spoke in Punjabi, the crowd responded forcefully.
Several people, mostly youth, raised slogans in favour of Modi and former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was seen clicking pictures of Modi sitting with Sukhbir Badal and senior Badal on the stage.
However, the count of saffron flags or the number of urban people was thin in comparison with the attendance of rural people. The attendance of women was also thin.
After the conclusion of the rally, Puran Singh, a farmer from Ranjitgarh village, said: “I had come to see the Prime Minister. We are thankful to him for increasing the MSP of paddy. It will increase our income by Rs 6,000 per acre. No PM ever increased the MSP by Rs 600. So it becomes our duty to thank him.”
Another farmer Gurjeet Singh from Jalalabad sub-division said, “We belong to the Sukhbir’s constituency. His men always helped us in tough times. We came here on their call and felt good after listening to our country’s most powerful man.”
Harjinder Singh, a farmer from Bathinda, said: “The PM took a good step by increasing the MSP of some crops. More farmers of Punjab will benefit if the Centre starts purchasing crops other than paddy and wheat. Cotton and maize should be purchased by the government at the MSP as the farmers don’t get the actual price in the open market.”
Local shopkeepers, meanwhile, were upset about the restrictions imposed on account of PM’s visit. “I had to close my shop for about seven hours, causing me financial loss,” said a tea-seller.