BJP takes up UP farmers’ cause, plans agitation

Special Correspondent

The stir will be launched in all the Assembly segments till November 30

LUCKNOW: Accusing the Bahujan Samaj Party Government here of mortgaging the interests of farmers at the hands of middlemen, the Bharatiya Janata Party has decided to take up their cause by launching an agitation in all the Uttar Pradesh Assembly segments. The agitation would continue till November 30.

The Leader of the BJP Legislature Party, Om Prakash Singh, said at a press conference here on Thursday that the condition of the farmers had deteriorated in the past one and a half years of the Mayawati regime which had only handed out hollow promises to them. Charging that the farmers had been misled by the Government, Mr. Singh said the middlemen in the procurement trade had been allowed to have a free run in the State.

Cane procurement policy

The BJP leader said the good work done by the previous regimes on the agricultural front had been undone by the Mayawati Government.

Taking up the issue of cane growers, the BJP leader said the cane procurement policy had been an abject failure, which had led to a decline by 25 to 30 per cent in the sugarcane sowing area in the State. In addition, cane dues worth Rs.106.77 crore were still pending on the mill owners.

Mr. Singh claimed that only 28 of the 140 mills in the State had commenced crushing operation. He charged that the Government’s sugarcane policy had caused a division between the growers and the mill owners.

Mr. Singh said a crisis was brewing in the paddy purchase sector with the farmers getting a minimum support price of Rs.700 to 750 per quintal from the middlemen as compared to the support price of Rs.900 per quintal announced by the Government. He said since the middlemen were calling the shots, the farmers had been denied a difference of Rs.150 per quintal rate of paddy.

The BJP leader alleged that the administration was conniving in the exploitation of farmers by middlemen.

Artificial shortage

Mr. Singh also said that an artificial shortage of DAP fertilizer created by middlemen had resulted in the commodity being sold in the black market. He alleged that the DAP allotted to UP was being pilfered to Bihar and Nepal through middlemen. He attacked the Government for its failure to frame a policy on farmers’ welfare.

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