In protest for assured income, farmers in Punjab stop supply of milk, veggies
Though impact was not visible in cities on first day of their 10-day protest, market associations say situation will deteriorate in coming days.punjab Updated: Jun 02, 2018 10:19 IST
A major section of farmers in Punjab on Friday stopped the supply of milk and vegetables in various cities as part of a countrywide ten-day protest against the alleged anti-farmer policies of the central government.
Though the impact was not visible in cities on the first day, market associations say the situation will deteriorate in the days to come and city residents who depend on villages for their kitchen needs will feel the heat.
Farmer bodies say the city residents could come to villages to purchase vegetables and milk.
Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, a federation of 130 farmer organisations, had given a call for countrywide protest to press for their demand for Rs 18,000 income per acre for each farmer on monthly basis.
GOOD RESPONSE, CLAIMS RAJEWAL
Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of a faction of Bhartiya Kisan Union, said, “We have received a good response on the first day of the protest. At most of the places in the state, farmers have stopped supply of milk and vegetables.”
He added, “The Centre may claim that farmers are getting 50% profit above the cost of production but actually it is twisting the figures.”
Devinder Sharma, convener of Kisan Ekta Manch, a constituent of Mahashangh, also claimed that the response to the protest call, particularly in Punjab, remained reasonably good. “Other than the monthly income from all sources, including minimum support price (MSP), we want a complete debt waiver of Rs 14 lakh crore for farmers.”
In Bathinda, vegetable sellers said only about 20% of the daily requirement reached the wholesale market resulting in scarcity.
Sabzi Mandi Arhtiya Association president Manohar Singh said vegetable prices have already risen and the situation would deteriorate in comings days.
Meanwhile, a vehicle carrying around 600 litres of milk was not allowed to enter into Bathinda city and the milk was distributed among the residents of the area on the outskirts.
In Jalandhar, a large number of farmers offered to surrender the keys of their tractors to deputy commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma, as a mark of protest.
SIDHU JOINS FARMERS’ PROTEST
Showing solidarity towards the protesting farmers, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu reached Patto village in Fatehgarh Sahib to purchase milk and vegetables from a farmers.
He was accompanied by MLAs Kuljit Singh Nagra and Gurpreet Singh GP. They visited the farmhouse of a local farmer, Gursharan Singh, and purchased milk and vegetables.
Sidhu said, “If the country is to be saved, saving the farm sector ought to be a priority.”