Fears of shortage during farmers’ strike, admn allays fears
: Amidst fears of price rise of food items during the 10-day farmers strike from June 1 to June 10 when they will stop supply of milk, vegetables and fruit to the mandis all over the state, people in Mandsaur and Neemuch have started stocking these items, as the impact of the strike is expected to be the maximum in these two districts.
The administration on the other hand is trying to allay such fears and maintain that the situation is under control.
The strike is to demand that farmers get one and half time their investment for their produce among other things. It also marks the one year of police firing and lathi charge at agitating farmers in Mandsaur on June 6, in which six people lost their lives.
According to Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh leader Shiv Sharma alias Kakkaji during the course of the 10-day strike no farmer will leave their village to sell their produce. “Our agitation is peaceful and we are requesting city dwellers to come and buy our produce from the villages,” when asked whether there will be shortage of essential items.
During agitation last year there was heavy shortage of milk and vegetables and things were sold at exorbitant prices as the administration was caught unawares.
Naresh Talwani, who owns a shop in the main market in Mandsaur said like many others he has stored onion and potatoes and milk powder to cover the strike period. “We had horrible experience last year and had no milk or vegetable for days.”
Mandsaur collector O P Shrivastava said the administration is trying its best to ensure that there is no shortage. “We had a talk with main traders and many of them have their own godowns and cold storage and there will be adequate supply of vegetables to cover around a week. Also not all farmers are going to join the strike and police will provide protection to those who want to sell their produce in the mandi. Mandsaur has its own Sanchi plant where we have adequate stock”
Madhya Pradesh State cooperative daily federation general manager R P S Tiwari said that this time we have asked all our milk contributors to increase their supply and we will provide police security to them all over the state. The federation owns the Sanchi brand of milk which has a state wide network with thousands of outlets.
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Anil Yadav expressed fear that the way the administration is intimidating the farmers by sending police to villages and making them sign bonds is angering the farmers. “They are also pitting farmers one against the other. Like last year this time too they have forced the RSS backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Kisan Sangh to withdraw from the strike. But 90 per cent of the farmers are with us,” Yadav said.