BJP farmers’ wing starts campaign to visit grain markets

April 24th, 2011 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh, April 24 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party Kisan Morcha (BJPKM) Sunday launched a nationwide campaign to visit grain markets across the country to understand and highlight the problems faced by farmers.

“From today (Sunday) we are starting a campaign to visit all mandis to oversee the problems faced by the farmers. Today I will start this movement from Kharar mandi (around 15 km from here). We would listen to the problems of farmers and accordingly approach the state governments,” Om Prakash Dhankar, national president of BJPKM, told reporters here.

The BJPKM concluded its two-day meeting, in which tens of hundreds of farmers and their participated, here.

Talking about the decisions taken at the meeting, Dhankar said: “All subsidies should be given directly to the farmers and there should be no middleman involved in it. We would soon start working in this direction.”

“We demand a special budget for the agriculture just like we have for railways. Its really sad that in a country like India, where crores of people are dependent on agriculture, we do not have a separate budget for it,” he added.

Dhankar said that there was an immediate need to change the definition of “natural calamity” that was considered by the central government while giving compensation to farmers.

“There are many instances when the centre refuses to give compensation when crops are destroyed by rains and hailstorms. We will soon make a proposed draft and demand the constitution of a law to pay appropriate compensation to farmers,” said Dhankar.

“Farmers are still forced to commit suicide. During the last season around 300 farmers committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh because their crops were damaged by rains,” he said.

Dhankar said there was a big gap between the minimum support price (MSP) of food grains and the actual cost of production.

Dhankar also suggested to the Punjab government to start making direct payment to its farmers.

“I appeal to the Punjab government to directly make payments to farmers. I will also meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to discuss this matter. I even suggest them to go to Chattisgarh to study their procurement system as they have one of the best systems in the country,” said Dhankar.

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