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Kejriwal woos farmers on day 1 of Punjab visit

Ludhiana: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today wooed farmers by promising sops like loan and interest waiver as he started his four-day visit to boost AAP’s poll campaign in Punjab and vowed to stay put in the state until the ruling Badals are “sent to jail”.

Heckled by activists of BJP, SAD and Congress at New Delhi and Ludhiana railway stations, the AAP national convenor said neither he nor his party is going to be “cowed down” by such “pre-planned” protests, or “CDs” and accusations which he alleged are being manufactured under a conspiracy by political rivals.

“Today the farmers of Punjab are in a bad situation, they are committing suicide. There was a time, the farmers of Punjab were considered to be the happiest in the country,” he said at a press conference here.

He said if AAP comes to power in Punjab the farmers of the state will be made debt-free and the loan of poor farmers will be waived.

“For rest of the farmers, loan interest will be waived and till December 2018, all farmers of Punjab will be rid of debt,” he said.

Kejriwal, whose party will come out with a ‘Kisan Manifesto’ soon, said, “We have held several meetings, people have given suggestions and this will be reflected in this blueprint.”

He was unsparing in his attack on Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

“Now, I want to say that I have come (to Punjab) and I will be pitching my tent here. Till the time we don’t make them bite dust and send the Badals to jail, I will camp in Punjab and I am not going to leave this place. In between, however, I will go to Delhi for 2-3 days, but I will not leave from here till we send the Badals to jail,” he said.

His visit comes at a time when AAP is grappling with a series of controversies including removal of its Punjab chief Sucha Singh Chotepur affter a “sting CD” purportedly showed him taking money from a ticket aspirant and the sacking of Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar over a sex scandal.