Agriculture- dominated Sangrur district is all set to reap a bumper wheat crop, thanks to suitable weather conditions. But the delay in harvesting may cost heavily to politicians, eyeing the rural vote bank as the Lok Sabha polls clash with wheat harvesting.
Amid the din of the Lok Sabha elections, wheat harvesting has started in some parts of the district. Politicians are worried that the wheat harvesting, which has been delayed by 10-15 days due to unusual rainfall, may affect the polling percentage as on April 30, the polling day, wheat harvesting will be on the peak.
"Usually, wheat arrival in mandis begins from April 10 and remain on peak after Baisakhi (April 13). But this year, the harvesting is delayed by more than 10 days", said a commission agent of the Sangrur grain market, adding that: "Till date only one or two farmers have brought their crop to the mandi as the crop will take more time to mature."
Farmers are of the view that they have nothing to do with the elections, as the crop is their top priority.
"After every five year we elect the leader, but they never come before the polls. As this time the elections are clashing with the wheat-harvesting, farmers may not pay attention to the elections as we have worked day and night for six months for the harvesting day", said a farmer, Jagmohan Singh.
Though the delay in harvesting may cost extra to the politicians, who have to campaign in night or early morning to woo the farmers. but it will help the farmers to reap the bumper crop.
"Though, some damage have been caused due to the recent rainfall but it has also lowered the temperature, which is a boon for the wheat crop, especially for the lateral varieties. Now, I think that per acre production will be more than the last year", says an agriculture expert.
Rajender Singh Sohi, chief agriculture officer, Sangrur, is expecting a bumper crop, this year. The Sangrur agriculture department has set a target of producing 14.74 lakh MT of wheat from acreage of 2.85 hectares in Sangrur district.