As the countdown to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections has begun, Bhartiya Kisan Union has decided to broaden the base of its ongoing stir against the Central farm laws at the Ghazipur border to raise farmers’ issues with the State government.
It asked the Centre why the Agriculture Minister was spared in the Cabinet reshuffle.
At a press conference on Thursday, BKU national spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said the organisation would start a comprehensive movement against the State government from August 1. “Apart from the farm laws, we will also sensitise farmers on the increasing electricity rates and the pending sugarcane dues. In Haryana, the BJP government is selling electricity to farmers at ₹35 per horsepower, while in UP it is being sold at ₹175 per horsepower. Besides ₹8500 crores in dues to the sugarcane farmers are still pending,” said Mr Tikait.
He said at a time when the MSP of wheat was ₹1975 per quintal, the government collection centres were paying only ₹1400 to farmers. “Now the same thing will happen with the paddy crop. That’s why we are demanding a law on MSP, but the deaf and dumb government is not responding,” he said.
BKU general secretary Yudhvir Singh said that the organisation would lead the movement against the State government. “Meanwhile, the agitation against the farm laws would not be allowed to be weakened and would continue under the guidance of Samyukta Kisan Morcha.”
Media in-charge Dharmendra Malik wondered why the Agriculture Minister was spared in the Cabinet reshuffle. “If the health and education sectors fared badly, agriculture was no different, with farmers protesting for the last seven months,” he said.
He said the State government was under the impression that the discontent was only against farm laws and it didn’t have much to do with U.P. “We will prove them wrong and also demand compensation for farmers who succumbed to COVID 19.”
BKU has given a call for a tractor rally from Shamli to the Singhu border on Friday. “We will start holding meetings in 18 zonal headquarters of the State from July 11 to spread the word,” said Mr. Malik.
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