Farmers launch indefinite stir for ‘financial independence’ | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Farmers launch indefinite stir for ‘financial independence’

BKS is holding an indefinite mahapadav at seven divisional headquarters — Jaipur, Kota, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Bharatpur and Sikar.

jaipur Updated: Jun 15, 2017 20:32 IST
Sachin Saini
Farmers belonging to Bharatiya Kisan Sangh  at the mahapadaa (sit-in) in Jaipur.
Farmers belonging to Bharatiya Kisan Sangh at the mahapadaa (sit-in) in Jaipur. (Himanshu Vyas\ HT Photos)

Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS) a peasant’s wing of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) started its indefinite mahapadav (sit-in) demanding loan waiver, minimum support prices for farm produce and a special assembly session to discuss farmer issues on Thursday.

“This mahapadav is the fight for the financial independence of farmers. The farmers are not even getting the costing of produce. They are in debt and under pressure to give up farming,” said Heera Lal Choudhary, vice-president BKS.

Farmers are agitated as their produce is not being purchased on MSP and they are not getting water or electricity. “During elections, the BJP had promised eight hours of power supply and agricultural connection on a priority basis. After three years, around 4.5 lakh connections are still pending,” said Choudhary.

BKS is holding an indefinite mahapadav at seven divisional headquarters — Jaipur, Kota, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Bikaner, Bharatpur and Sikar. BKS representatives submitted an 11-point memorandum to the district administration for the chief minister.

The government had appealed to farmers to ensure a good harvest, but they cheated us after a bumper production by changing their import-export policy and purchasing pulses from outside, said Choudhary. “BKS is a non-political outfit working in the interest of farmers,” he said.

The mahapadav is a fight for the financial independence of farmers, Heera Lal Choudhary, vice-president BKS has said. (Himanshu Vyas\ HT Photo )

He said both the BJP and the Congress have cheated farmers. “During elections they make promises and after coming to power they forget their promises. Farmers will prosper when they get the right price. We will go to all levels to get our voices heard. Political parties will get our reply during elections,” said Choudhary.

Addressing the farmers at the sit-in, state BKS president Mani Lal Lebana said, “This mahapadav is to give the government a chance.”

“The government has pay commissions, but what about farmers? We are not getting the right price for our produce. The government is not listening to our demands. They will face the consequences during elections,” Sua Lal, a farmer from Pachaar area of Jaipur, said. He added that this year he sold tomatoes at ₹2 per kg, which should have fetched him ₹20 a kg. “We did not earn even prices of the seeds,” he said.

Another farmer, Kailash Sharma said, “We sold pea at ₹3 per kg. The seeds cost ₹200 per kg. What have we earned? If no steps are taken by the government, we will then close villages and block roads.”

The state government has cancelled the leave of district collectors and police officials in view of the protest and has asked them to keep a close watch on the situation. Security has been tightened in areas around the ‘mahapadav’ sites. (Himanshu Vyas\ HT Photo )

Not only Jaipur, farmers from Ajmer, Jodhpur and Bharatpur too have joined the agitation. Hundreds of farmers held an indefinite dharna at Azad Park, Ajmer.

The farmers submitted a memorandum to the divisional commissioner in demanding warehouses at each panchayat headquarters, 24×7 uninterrupted electricity supply to farmers during sowing season, and adequate representation of farmers in district committee meetings discussing agricultural issues. “The farmers are under great economic crisis,” said Rajendra Sharma district secretary BKS.

In Jodhpur, farmers sat on mahapadav outside the district collector’s office. Sangh coordinator Tulchharam Sinvar said the farmers want minimum support price for their produce.