Fed up with the low prices of vegetables amid the “impact of demonetisation”, more than 200 farmers on Monday distributed their produce free of cost in the Chhattisgarh’s capital Raipur as a mark of protest in support of their various demands. Thousands of people gathered at Dharna Sthal in the city’s Budhatalab area where vegetables stored in mini trucks were being distributed.
“We distributed about 1 lakh kg of vegetables to about 30,000 people in protest,” said Hitesh Varu, president of Chhattisgarh Yuva Pragatisheel Kisan Sangh.
Varu insisted the protest was not about demonetisation, but some farmers said it was the prime reason the prices had gone down. A group of farmers claimed the protest was against demonetisation and issued a statement claiming the event was “hijacked” by some BJP leaders.
“We came here to protest against demonetisation. The people who were leading the protest are now not speaking against demonetisation and were influenced by some leaders of the ruling BJP. The vegetable prices have gone down because of demonetisation,” said Danu Patel, a farmer leader of Durg district.
In the last couple of days, the vegetable prices have come down in both wholesale and open markets in the state.
When asked if demonetisation had a bearing on the prices of vegetables, Chhattisgarh agriculture minister Brijmohan Agrawal told HT there had been a slight impact initially and the situation would improve. He said traders from outside had stayed away from Chhattisgarh’s vegetable markets initially and that led to the drop in prices.