Anti-farmer laws may be back if BJP returns to power: SKM
Kisan Morcha leaders also said that the BJP had resolved to establish the Chief Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Fund with a corpus of ₹20,000 crore in 2017 poll manifesto, but the fund was not established
LUCKNOW Leaders of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Wednesday said that anti-farmer laws may be reintroduced if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) returns to power. Farmer leaders observed ‘Vishwasghat Diwas’ across the country on January 31 as the government failed to fulfill promises made to the farmers at the time of withdrawal of agitation against three controversial farm laws, they stated while addressing press conferences in Moradabad and Bareilly.
The press meet was addressed by farmer leaders Hannan Mollah, Yogendra Yadav, Jagjit Singh Dallewal, Rakesh Tikait and Shivkumar Sharma (Kakkaji).
They said 57 farmer organizations in UP were associated with the SKM, which is holding press conferences, distributing pamphlets and holding street meetings for the defeat of the BJP.
Arrest of the main accused in Lakhimpur Kheri incident, withdrawal of Electricity Reform Act, compensation to families of all farmers who died during the agitation, withdrawal of cases registered by the police of different states and release of tractors impounded during the agitation were cited among various demands of the protesting farmers.
SKM leaders said promises made by the BJP to the farmers in this election manifesto were also made in the 2017 elections but were not implemented. “The farmers neither got MSP nor their income has doubled,” they said.
Terming the BJP manifesto as a “bundle of lies”, the farmer leaders said the BJP, in its 2017 manifesto, had promised to pay sugarcane dues in 14 days, but ₹20 crore for 2017-18 and ₹3,752 crore for 2020-21 were still pending. “Not even a penny of interest has been paid. Despite the Allahabad high court’s March 2017 order, farmers have not been paid interest of ₹8,700 crore due to delay in payment in the last 10 years,” they added.
The Kisan Morcha leaders also said that the BJP had resolved to establish the Chief Minister’s Krishi Sinchai Fund with a corpus of ₹20,000 crore in the 2017 poll manifesto, but the fund was not established.
“In 2017, free pump sets were also promised to 10 lakh farmers of the state by 2022 under the UDAY scheme. But so far, only 6,068 energy efficient pumps have been installed. Again in 2022, it is being announced to provide solar pumps to farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Kusum Yojana. Similarly, in the last 5 years, the promise of 6 food processing parks has been reiterated without creating a single food park,” they added.
Farmer leaders said that the BJP, in its manifesto, had promised to provide free electricity for irrigation, but electricity rates in Uttar Pradesh were the highest in the country. “In the last five years, the state government increased the rate of rural metered electricity from Re 1 per unit to ₹2 per unit for tubewells. There was an unexpected increase in the fixed charge from ₹30 to ₹70. Charges for unmetered connections increased from ₹100 to ₹170,” stated kisan morcha leaders.