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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 05, 2012
The Kisan Morcha (farmers' wing) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday took out a protest march here against the decision of the Commission for Agriculture Cost and Pricing (CACP) to freeze the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat for the forthcoming season at Rs. 1,285 a quintal.


A large number of farmers from Punjab and Haryana joined the protest; some marched without shirts to symbolise the state of the economy. They later submitted memorandums to the governors of Punjab and Haryana.

Addressing the protesters, BJP Kisan Morcha national president Om Prakash Dhankar said the Congress-led UPA government had "uprooted" the farmers: "Despite this, the Centre's agriculture department is making suggestions of not increasing the MSP of crops."

"As compared to last year, the input cost of wheat has increased by Rs. 200 per quintal. And if the Swaminathan formula is applied, the MSP of wheat should be Rs. 2,100 per quintal," he added.
Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma also spoke: "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has become a puppet in the hands of foreign powers. He is destroying the future of traders and the common man."

Dhankar told farmers that as per the data collected by the Kisan Morcha, the input cost of wheat is set to increase to Rs. 1,400 per quintal. "In the current season, in fact, input cost has increased to Rs. 1,500 per quintal due to the deficient monsoon. We demand Rs. 750 per quintal bonus on whwat to provide immediate relief to farmers, and Rs. 250 bonus on other crops as well."