Haryana farmers’ leader wants Centre’s undertaking on MSP for foodgrains
Hours before meeting Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Delhi on Tuesday, Haryana Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Gurnam Singh Charuni said that farmers of the state want the Centre to give an undertaking that foodgrain procurement will continue under the minimum support price (MSP).
“We want the Centre to give an undertaking that foodgrain procurement will continue under the MSP. Let private players buy foodgrains from farmers, but it must be guaranteed that they will not be allowed to procure the produce below the MSP decided by the Centre,” Charuni said.
He, however, dismissed as an eyewash the efforts of a panel of three BJP MPs to reach out to the state’s farmers over the weekend.
Haryana BJP president OP Dhankar had deputed three party MPs to meet farm union leaders to allay the fears of agitating farmers on the agriculture ordinances.
Dhankar, state agriculture minister JP Dalal, the three MPs, namely Bhiwani-Mahendergarh MP Dharambir Singh, Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini and Hisar MP Brijendra Singh, and farmer representatives are calling on Tomar on Tuesday.
“We will hand over a report based on the feedback and suggestions given by the farmers to the Union agriculture minister,” Dhankar said.
Charuni, who has been invited for the talks, said, “The primary objective behind setting up the three MPs’ committee was to throw dust into the eyes of agitating farmers. This panel was set up to mislead the farmers and defuse the crisis,” said Charuni, who hails from a village near Shahbad.
“What is the locus standi of this committee? This is an eyewash. Is this MSP issue only confined to Haryana? It pertains to farmers of the entire country,” he said.
FARMERS IN PROTEST MODE
Farmers, who have been in protest mode and were prevented from holding a rally at Pipli grain market in Kurukshetra against the Centre’s recent agriculture ordinances, were lathicharged last week, putting the government on the backfoot.
On Monday, the three MPs’ panel handed over is report to Dhankar in Delhi. By evening, Charuni, who has been leading the farmers stir in Haryana, was invited to hold talks first with BJP MP Dharambir Singh and then Union agriculture minister Tomar on Tuesday.
While the ruling BJP in Haryana has accused the opposition, particularly the Congress, of trying to politicise the issue and creating a doubt in the minds of farmers about the three agriculture ordinances.
Dalal clarified that the ordinances introduced by the Centre has only given an option to farmers that if a private agency wants to buy grains from outside government mandis at a price higher than the MSP then farmers can sell their crop at a higher price.