BJP’s anti-farmers policies pushed them into acute misery: Congress

Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu (C) speaks to media in Amritsar, on January 18, 2022.

Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu (C) speaks to media in Amritsar, on January 18, 2022.

The Congress on Wednesday accused the BJP of failing to double the income of farmers and alleged that the saffron party’s “anti-farmer” policies have pushed the farming community into acute crises.

Senior Congress leader and its national general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala and Punjab president Navjot Singh Sidhu at a joint press conference released a booklet surrounding the challenges of the farming community and promised to resolve their issues if the party is voted to power.

Mr. Surjewala observed that besides the BJP, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Aam Aadmi Party too were equally responsible for farmers’ misery. “The report released by the National Statistical Office (NSSO) in September 2021 on the status of agricultural households in rural India has revealed a shocking revelation. The income of the farmer has not doubled. On the contrary, a family of five people is earning only ₹26.67 per person a day from farming. Farmers are drowning in debt. The Modi government, which has promised to increase farmers’ income, has drowned the farmer in debt. 50.2% of India's farmers are in debt, with an average loan of ₹74,121 per household,” he stated.

“Not only this, the BJP government has till date not given MSP [minimum support price) as per Swaminathan committee (at C2+50%) to farmers as promised. They arbitrarily increased the cost and robbed the income of farmers. And the Central government gave an affidavit in the Supreme Court on February 9, 2015, that farmers cannot be given 50% return on cost,” he said.

The loss of votes in the elections of five States would the show the mirror of truth to the anti-farmer BJP. “In the defeat of the BJP, there is victory of farmers and farm labourers,” he claimed.

Sidhu’s promise

Mr. Sidhu said that if the Congress formed the next government, it would legalise the MSP for crops and purchase pulses, oilseeds and maize. He also promised that the government would process and market these produces through cooperatives and government corporations.

“Everybody talks of issues faced by farmers. Everybody tries to do politics on farmers issues, but no one has given a road map for resurrection. The Congress has stood by farmers throughout the struggle and beyond politics,” he asserted. A market intervention scheme would also be started for crops sold below MSP. The government would pay the difference in selling price and MSP directly to farmers, he added.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 4:33:33 am | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/punjab-assembly/bjps-anti-farmers-policies-pushed-them-into-acute-misery-congress/article38292658.ece