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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

'Modi has cheated farmers'

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Patiala, July 29, 2014
First Published: 20:56 IST(29/7/2014) | Last Updated: 20:57 IST(29/7/2014)

Though the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and state Bharatiya Janata Party have gone silent after `50-hike in the minimum support price for paddy, farmer organisations have criticised the NDA government for the "meagre" hike.

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The Consortium of Farmers' Associations (CIFA) has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of cheating farmers over the MSP issue. In a release, Santam Singh Behru, national president of CIFA, said during the Lok Sabha poll campaign Modi had talked about implementing the Swaminathan commission report. Even the BJP manifesto had listed it as a promise, he said.

However, Modi has let down farmers, who voted in large numbers to get MSP as per the Swaminathan panel report, Behru said, while criticising the SAD for remaining silent on issue. Apart from MSP, the NDA has also cheated farmers by increasing the prices of diesel, he added.

Behru has also filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court for implementation of the Swaminathan commission report.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha member Dr Dharamvira Gandhi has also condemned the central government's decision to make a meagre increase of `50 for paddy MSP and termed it a joke. He demanded that prices of crops should be fixed as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan commission.

Dr Gandhi said before the parliamentary elections, the BJP and SAD had advocated that prices of crops should be fixed as per the recommendations of the Swaminathan commission, but after coming to power at the Centre they started showing their real anti-farmer face. Now, anti-farmer export restrictions are being imposed on crops, he said.

The Patiala MP said when the government did not provide any support price for potatoes and onions then it had no right impose such export restrictions on farmers. "If the government really wants to protect the interest of consumers, it must ensure reasonable support price for crops and also ensure the timely procurement and storage of crops for supply at reasonable prices to the consumer," Dr Gandhi said.

He asked if government has ever imposed such exports restrictions on corporate houses like Ambanis. "As there are no export restrictions on corporate houses, there should be no such restrictions on farmer also. The government should ensure timely purchase entire crop of farmer at reasonable support price," he added.

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