Agri Business

Opposition, farmers to intensify stir

A. M. Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on June 12, 2017

As the protests in Maharashtra tasted ‘success’, with the State government announcing a farm-loan waiver package, farmers’ organisations have decided to intensify their protests across the country demanding a similar move from the Centre and from other State governments.

Sixty-two farmers’ organisations have decided to hold road-and-rail blockades in various parts of the country on June 16 demanding a comprehensive loan waiver package.

Such organisations and the Opposition maintain they are demanding that the Centre implement its promise ahead of the 2014 elections and the Assembly elections in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh that farm loans will be waived.

Congress general secretary CP Joshi told reporters that his party would coordinate with other parties for a joint struggle on the issue of farm-loan waiver. Asked about reports that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had apprehensions about such waiver packages, he wondered why the BJP had made such promises in its manifestoes.

To fight for package

Hannan Mollah, leader of Left-leaning All India Kisan Sabha, told BusinessLine that farmers would continue to demand a farm-loan package.

“We have demanded that the Centre implement the MS Swaminathan Commission recommendation on fixing MSP at 50 per cent above the cost of production. We also want withdrawal of the Centre’s ‘anti-farmer’ notification banning cattle trade,” Mollah added.

He alleged that the BJP was sending “Trojan horses” to disrupt farmers’ protests. “They are sending Sangh Parivar outfits to disrupt the unity of the peasantry,” he said.

Want M.P. CM to quit

The farmers have also demanded the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “The alternative narrative agenda to Modi and the RSS is happening in a most effective manner in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in the form of the farmers’ agitations. The Maharashtra government had to accept the farm-loan waiver. Now the protests have moved to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana,” said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in Thrissur.

Both Joshi and Mollah said demonetisation had aggravated the farm crisis. “There is a cash crunch. Despite bumper productions, farmers are not able to sell their produces. Traders are not ready to buy their produces as they do not have cash. This has agitated the farmers further,” Mollah said.

Published on June 12, 2017
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