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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Farmers to have pressure group in Parliament

Surinder Maan, Hindustan Times  Moga, April 05, 2013
First Published: 20:49 IST(5/4/2013) | Last Updated: 20:51 IST(5/4/2013)

Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) has decided to create a pressure group in the Lok Sabha of such parliament members who have been elected from agriculture-based constituencies across the country.

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After the meeting with office-bearers, Satnam Singh Behru, national president of CIFA, alleged that several farmer unions had been struggling for the rights of farmers for the last 20 years but without success.

According to CIFA, the pressure group of MPs will start work after the 2014 parliamentary elections and the constituencies which are agriculture based have been identified.

The association has also decided to move court soon as some commission agents in Punjab were not obeying the Punjab Registration of Moneylenders Act.

Behru alleged that the commission agents had been looting the farmers for the last many years in Punjab on the behest of the successive state governments. “Though the previous Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh had issued a notification after meeting various farmer organisations for providing direct payment for the crops,  unfortunately, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who claims that the SAD-BJP government is doing everything good for farmers, had rejected the notification under pressure from commission agents during the earlier tenure of the SAD-BJP government,” he said.

He said the farmers of Punjab had been committing suicide due to debt but the government did not pay attention to the sensitive issue. “Our association submitted a petition in the Supreme Court for providing compensation to the victim farmers' families. The court demanded reports from all state governments about suicide cases but five states failed to submit such reports in time. When the governments are not paying attention to farmers' problems, how can the farmers survive,” wondered Behru.

CIFA has also written to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for creating a 'kheti budget' like the railway budget. The association has also demanded that a national-level special fund be created for farmers which could be used for poor farmers.

Behru alleged that the farmers were not getting power supply regularly for agriculture sector at the moment as promised by the Badal government at the time of elections.

“The next meetings of the association will be held in this month in Haryana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka,” said Behru.

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