The Congress, in a statement on Thursday, urged the sugar cane growers of Uttar Pradesh to have faith in the pro-farmer policies of the United Progressive Alliance government.

According to the statement, issued by general secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh Digvijay Singh, the party had taken the lead in highlighting the apprehensions of the growers soon after the ordinance was promulgated. A delegation, led by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, had met Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to convey the sentiments of the growers.

Referring to that meeting, Mr. Singh said Mr. Pawar had explained the reasons for promulgating the ordinance and said it would in no way affect the price to be paid to the farmers by mills. “Each sugar mill would have to negotiate an optimum price with farmers in view of the prevailing high prices of sugar in the open market.” Further, he had assured the delegation that under no circumstances would farmers get anything below Rs.180 per quintal.

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