Tikait asks farmers to unite against ‘corporate loot’ in Himachal

Updated on Aug 28, 2021 11:33 PM IST

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has blamed “corporate loot” as one of the main reasons for the sharp drop in apple prices across Himachal Pradesh

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait (green scarf) along with his supporters on the Ridge in Shimla on Saturday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait (green scarf) along with his supporters on the Ridge in Shimla on Saturday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
By, Shimla

Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has blamed “corporate loot” as one of the main reasons for the sharp drop in apple prices across Himachal Pradesh.

He announced that the farmer union will expand its movement across state. Tikait, who made his maiden visit to the state a year after farmers launched stir against the Centre’s farm bills on outskirts of Delhi, addressed a series of meetings in Himachal Pradesh.

Addressing a press conference, Tikait, who was on his maiden and day-long tour to Himachal to meet the apple-growers suffering losses due to fall in prices, said the farm agitation began nine months ago and will continue till the government meets their demands.

On the crisis facing Himachal’s apple economy, the farm leader said earlier, arthiyas used to purchase the apple produce and fetch good prices for the orchardists of Himachal.

“Ever since Adani and Ambani took over the market 10 years ago, the apple prices have come down significantly due to the manipulation by the corporate,” he said.

They deliberately slash the prices for two months and then sell the yield at higher rates for the next 10 months, he added.

Tiikait urged farmers to unite in the fight against this “corporate loot”.

“When farmers will stand up for their rights, it will send a warning sign to the government,” he said. He added that the Centre’s three farm laws are not in the interest of farmers and were enacted to benefit the corporates.

Tikait said, if needed, a movement will be started for the rights of farmers and orchardists of Himachal. “Minimum support price (MSP) is a real issue facing farmers and laws should be enacted made for it,” he said.

“There is larger conspiracy going on to weaken the farming community. If we don’t stop it, the situation will be like that of Assam where tea gardens were sold to the capitalists,” he added.

He said the fruit crops of Himachal should be included in the MSP and the state government should give subsidy to the farmers on transportation of their produce.

He said the farm unions, under Samyukta Kisan Morcha, will hold a meeting in Muzarfarnagar (UP) to chalk out a strategy to intensify the stir against the BJP-led Union government.

Tikait warned the central government that the “rule of companies will not be allowed in the country”. He said SKM will raise the voice of horticulturists of Himachal and will not allow the prices of apples to drop any further.

“It will not take long for Shimla to become Delhi. If godowns of those who conspired against the farmers and gardeners are dug up, the farmers will not be responsible,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Bisht heads Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. He covers politics in the hill state and other issues concerning the masses.

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