Press Trust of india

Rail blockade in Punjab result of state govt ‘inaction’: Javadekar

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New Delhi:  Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday blamed the Punjab government’s “inaction” for the disruption of rail services due to a blockade by farmers in the state and said smooth passage of passenger and goods trains was in everyone’s interest.

He said the state’s farmers had sold a record 158 lakh metric tonnes of paddy, which proved that they were happy.

Addressing the media after a Cabinet meeting, Javadekar said the protest is being held at 32 places in Punjab with farmers sitting on rail tracks.

“It is the inaction of the state government. Law and order is a state subject. The removal of the rail blockade for the smooth passage of passenger and goods trains is in the interest of everyone. For winters, we have to move LPG cylinders and clothing for forces deployed in forward areas,” he said in response to a question.

The minister wondered whether the agitation was political in nature and in support of commission agents as farmers had benefitted by selling their produce at a higher MSP.

The agitation by farmers in Punjab against the Centre’s three farm reforms began around September 24.

The farmers have expressed apprehension that the recently enacted laws would pave the way for dismantling of the minimum support price system, leaving them at the “mercy” of big corporates.

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