Congress bats for Uttar Pradesh’s sugarcane farmers

December 16th, 2009 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 16 (IANS) Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh Wednesday led a sugarcane farmers’ protest outside the office of the cane commissioner here to express solidarity with the “exploited farmers”.
Organised under the banner of Uttar Pradesh Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, headed by former legislator V.M. Singh, the protest was joined in by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and state Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari.

“We will continue this ‘dharna’ until the state government takes a final call on bringing an end to the discriminatory sugarcane pricing policy being followed by it this time,” Digvijay Singh told reporters after addressing more than 10,000 farmers who had come for the protest rally.

Blaming the state government for “creating confusion and discrimination”, V.M. Singh said, “The Mayawati government’s decision to first fix a State Advised Price (SAP) as low as Rs.165 a quintal and then asking divisional commissioners and district magistrates to negotiate a higher price with mill-owners has virtually given the owners a free run.”

A delegation led by V.M. Singh, Joshi and Tiwari called on state cane commissioner Sudhir Bobde, who assured them that he would take their demands before the government.

“Why the poor farmer was given a paltry price ranging between Rs. 165 and Rs.195 per quintal, when the sugar price in the market had shot up to more than Rs.4,000 per quintal?” V.M. Singh asked.

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