Skip to main content

Govt "indifferent" towards suffering farmers: Modi refused to meet Gujarat ministers on cotton price issue

Saurashtra farmers' leaders discussion plan of action
By Our Representative
Three non-political farmers’ organizations, Saurashtra Khedut Ladat Samiti, Khedut Samaj Gujarat, and Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, have come together to ask the Gujarat government to add “bonus package” to the minimum support price (MSP) being offered to farmers by the Government of India for different farmers’ products, especially cotton, in order to protect them from being ruined. They have declared, if this is not done, they would be forced to "disrupt" the Vibrant Gujarat Business Summit, to take place on January 11-12 in Gandhinagar to attract foreign investment.
Forming Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti to press their demand, their leaders told mediapersons in Ahmedabad that such “bonus is offered by several other Indian states, but as for Gujarat, it has “remained indifferent towards it.”
One of them, Sagar Rabari, told reporters, “In Saurashtra, the farmers are being offered just about Rs 650 to Rs 750 per 20 kg as against the MSP of Rs 850. The marketing yards have put up bills declaring they will not buy up cotton. Farmers producing cotton are on the brink. Majority of them had taken loan from informal financiers at a very high rate, anywhere between 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent per month, to cotton, hoping that, like last year, they would earn a good amount, but this has happened.”
“Most farmers are unable to pay back their debt, pushing them into distress. On the other hand, the Gujarat government is failing to take any concrete step”, said Rabari. Newspersons were told that at least two senior ministers of the Gujarat government, Nitin Patel and Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, had gone to represent before Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “solve” the problem.
“They waited for two hours. Modi didn’t meet them. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) finally asked them to go and see the Union agriculture minister. The minister met them, but for just 45 seconds. They handed over their representation to the minister and returned empty handed”, the leaders said, quoting a senior BJP MLA.
“All this is happening at a time when farmers, especially cotton growers, are being pushed to the brink. Four of them have so far committed suicide, two over the last fortnight – in village Dharai near Chotila and village Fatehpur near Patdi. An impression is gaining ground that the Gujarat government is least interested in farmers’ plight. There is an industrial policy, an electronics policy, an agro-industries policy, but no agricultural policy”, Rabari said.
In a statement, the Samiti said, “The Government of Gujarat is going to spend crores of rupees on the Vibrant Gujarat summits at a time when cotton and groundnut farmers of Gujarat are forced to commit suicide on account of high input costs and low market yield for their produce. There is a race to welcome the big corporate with red carpet, but the stat government has neither money nor words of comfort to offer to farmers’ distraught families.”
The statement further said, “In the changed politico-economic environment, the political class considers backing the large corporates as profitable; the agricultural sector which employs even today nearly 70% of the work force and which provides the food security for the nation is not a priority. While other states are giving bonus over and above the MSP declared by the Central government, the Gujarat government is merely indulging in cheating farmers.”
The Samiti released a four-point programme before the media, including increasing of MSP to Rs 1200 per 20 kg for cotton and Rs 1000 per 20 kg for groundnut, plus a bonus of Rs 200 per kg; making it legally mandatory that all public auctions for farm products are above MSP; increase in electricity quota for farmers and regular power supply of 12 hours daily; make arrangements to expedite the crop insurance claims by October 31 every year; and a written assurance of not to decommand the Narmada command area.

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.

Kashmirisation of India? Ayodhya communal harmony meet: Activists stopped, detained

Counterview Desk
In a joint statement, three civil rights organizations, Rihai Manch, National Alliance of People's Movements and Lok Rajniti Manch, and Socialist Party (India), have taken strong exception to the Uttar Pradesh government taking "preventive" steps against those seeking to hold a meeting on communal harmony at Ayodhya.