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Congress attacks ‘anti-farmer’ Chhattisgarh govt, says it has ditched them

State farmers have been demanding Rs 2,100 minimum support price per quintal of paddy and a farmers bonus of Rs 300 per quintal.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2017 19:38 IST
Ritesh Mishra
Ritesh Mishra
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Congress,Chhattisgarh,Chhattisgarh farmers
Congress spokesperson RP Singh has called on the government to to waive off the farmers’ debts considering the state was suffering from drought.(HT File Photo)

The state Congress organised a massive protest in support of various demands of Chhattisgarh’s farmers in the state capital on Friday.

Their demands include Rs 2,100 minimum support price per quintal of paddy and a farmers bonus of Rs 300 per quintal.

“The government is anti-farmer and has ditched the farmers in last four years. It is shameful that farmers were arrested in the state for protesting against the government,” said RP Singh, state Congress spokesperson.

The ruling BJP had promised during 2013 assembly poll to give Rs 2,100 MSP and Rs 300 bonus for each quintal of paddy to farmers but it ditched them, he said.

On Thursday, farmers under the banner of Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh (KMM) had planned to gather near the Budha Talab area here at 1pm and march towards the chief minister’s residence, but the police blocked their attempt.

More than 100 farmers, including KMM leaders, were arrested. While KMM leaders Arvind Netam, Anand Mishra and Lakhan Singh were released soon after, the others were also likely to be released soon.

The administration had clamped Section 144 of CrPC in Raipur district in order to prevent any untoward incident.

Police officials also confirmed that Section 144 was imposed in districts of Durg range in view of the agitation and farmers were taken into custody there too.

Alok Shukla, a member of KMM, said the high-handed action by police has exposed the “oppressive” and “anti-people” face of the state government.

Recently, the state government had agreed to give bonus to farmers against procuring their paddy only for the last crop season, which is nothing but a belated attempt to woo them ahead of next year’s election, he said.

Congress spokesperson RP Singh said since the state was suffering from drought, the government should also waive off the farmers’ debts.

In support of various demands, including loan waiver, bonus for two years (2014-15 and 2015-16), implementation of Swaminathan committee’s report, state farmers had launched ‘Sankalp Yatra’ from Rajanandgaon from September 19 and today the protest was supposed to be held in Raipur, KMM’s Shukla said.

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 19:38 IST