Kharge says Cong will accept farmers' reasonable demands if voted: Not all crops | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kharge says Congress will accept farmers' reasonable demands if voted: Not all crops

Feb 21, 2024 03:17 PM IST

Farmers' protest: Chaos broke out at the Punjab-Haryana's Shambhu border as police stopped the farmers using tear gas and water cannon.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday extended his support to the protesting farmers over the issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP), saying that the centre should fulfil the reasonable demands of the farmers and provide the MSP on essential crops.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge (PTI)
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge (PTI)

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While speaking to the reporters in Karnataka's Kalaburgi, Kharge said that the Congress would even include the legal guarantee on MSP in its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

"We are supporting them (farmers). We are saying openly that their reasonable demands should be fulfilled. We are going to say this in our election manifesto also that a legal guarantee will be given. All crops cannot be covered but the essential crops should be done (providing MSP)," he said.

Earlier, party leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the Narendra Modi-led central government for not implementing the recomendations of the MS Swaminathan report.

"In a country where bank loans worth 14 lakh crore have been waived off, 1.8 lakh crore corporate tax exemption has been given, why is even a little expenditure on farmers an eyesore? The guarantee of MSP will increase investment in agriculture, increase demand in rural India and farmers will also get confidence in growing different types of crops, which is a guarantee of the country's prosperity. Those who are spreading confusion on MSP are insulting Dr. Swaminathan and his dreams. With the guarantee of MSP, Indian farmers will not be a burden on the budget but will become the drivers of GDP growth" Gandhi said in a post on X.

Meanwhile, agriculture minister Arjun Munda said that the centre is open to hold 5th round of talks with the protesting farmers to discuss all the issues raised by the latter. He also urged them to find a solution through 'dialogue'.

Munda is one among the team of union ministers holding talks with the farmer leaders, including Piyush Goyal and Nityanand Rai.

Read here: Punjab DGP seeks to halt earthmoving machinery movement at Punjab-Haryana border amid farmers' protest

Chaos broke out at the Punjab-Haryana's Shambhu border as police stopped the farmers using tear gas and water cannon. The farm leaders were seen wearing protective gears including masks, safety glasses and headphones to defend the resistive measures undertaken by the security forces. To resist the farmers, the forces used tear gas shells, water cannons apart from the multi-layer barricading deployed at various borders of Delhi.

Earlier in the day, the general secretary of Punjab Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Sarwan Singh Pandher reiterated the demand for a legal guarantee of MSP and assured a peaceful approach going ahead. The farM leader said that as the 'Dilli Chalo' resumed on Wednesday, only the leaders will be marching towards the national capital.

After the fourth round of talks ended in a stalemate, the farmers resumed their March on Wednesday morning. On February 19, the farmer leaders rejected the Centre's proposal on MSP purchase, saying "not in farmer's favour".

After the Centre brought a proposal to purchase crops at MSP, farm leaders rejected the proposal saying that it had nothing for them.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)

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