Staff Reporter

Accuses LDF Government of not taking steps to protect farmers' interests

  • Says the proposed debt relief commission Bill is a farce
  • Says prices of essential commodities have risen

    Thiruvambadi: Kerala Congress (M) leader K.M. Mani has lashed out at the Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government for being an utter failure in all spheres of activity during the past six months. The Thiruvambadi bypoll should be a shock treatment for its miserable rule, he added.

    Addressing a news conference here on Wednesday, the former Minister for Law and Revenue said the V.S. Achuthanandan Ministry had failed to keep the front's election promises, especially on salvaging the agriculture sector in the State. Over 50 farmers had committed suicide since the new Government came to power, said Mr. Mani, who was here to campaign for Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) candidate V.M. Ummer in the Thiruvambadi Assembly constituency.

    He accused the LDF Government of not taking any steps to protect the interests of farmers following the crash in prices of cash crops. When the United Democratic Front (UDF) Government assumed power in 2001 it had adopted measures to protect the prices of rubber and areca nut. Now the prices of all products, including vanilla, cardamom and coconut, had collapsed, he said.

    Mr. Mani termed the proposed Kerala Farmers' Debt Relief Commission Bill as a "farce" to hoodwink farmers. The Bill did not have any worthwhile provisions to help debt-ridden farmers. Instead of bringing in the much-hyped Bill, the Government ought to have declared a moratorium on loans taken by debt-ridden farmers, waived off their interests and given concessions to small-time farmers. When the UDF was in power, there were no protests against rise in prices of essential commodities. But now prices of commodities had skyrocketed. The prices were very high even in Supplyco.