Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday that he discouraged the payment of bonus on wheat in the state as middlemen bought the grain from neighbouring state Uttar Pradesh and sold it here for a higher price.
When asked about his directive to the states, including Madhya Pradesh last year, on not paying bonus to farmers on wheat procurement, the food minister said states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar didn’t have procurement centres unlike Madhya Pradesh.
Therefore, the price of wheat in those two states was lesser than Madhya Pradesh. The middlemen bought food grains from Uttar Pradesh on a lesser price and sold it in the state on a higher price. However, when asked if he meant that the impressive figure of wheat production in Madhya Pradesh was because of middlemen bringing wheat from Uttar Pradesh to the state, the union minister said he didn’t mean it. In reply to a related question on what his government was doing to check the role of middlemen the minister chose not to reply to question.
ON BIHAR CM
Paswan said Bihar chief minister had put the Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar in a tight spot. Former Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had thought he would put Jitan Ram Manjhi in his pocket but Jitan Ram became a thorn in his (Nitish Kumar’s) flesh (Unke gale ki haddi ban gaye hain).
Paswan said Nitin Kumar was exerting undue pressure on Jitan Ram. There were often feuds also. Hence, the government should be dissolved and a fresh election should be held in the state.