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  India   All India  03 Jun 2018  BJP calls farmers’ stir a failure, Rahul Gandhi plans rally

BJP calls farmers’ stir a failure, Rahul Gandhi plans rally

Published : Jun 3, 2018, 4:41 am IST
Updated : Jun 3, 2018, 5:04 am IST

The Congress also plans to hold “kisan rallies” across the country starting this month.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Photo: AP)
 Congress President Rahul Gandhi (Photo: AP)

New Delhi/Bhopal: Politics over farm distress intensified on Saturday as the BJP dismissed the on-going 10-day farmers’ stir as “politically-motivated” and a failure, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi lent support to their demands for loan waiver and better prices by announcing a rally in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh on June 6 — the first death anniversary of six farmers killed in police firing last year.

The BJP, which is struggling to consolidate the rural vote bank, described the ongoing farmers’ strike a failure on its second day while Mr Gandhi announced his plans for the rally to highlight agrarian distress.

Mr Gandhi slammed the Centre for its “failure” to “help the poor farmers” and tweeted, “Everyday at least 35 farmers commit suicide in our country. To draw the attention of the Centre our farmer brothers have been forced to go for a 10-day country-wide agitation. To support their cause I will be in Mandsaur on June 6.”

The Congress also plans to hold “kisan rallies” across the country starting this month.

On the second day of the 10-day “gram bandh” stir called by farmers’ bodies, the BJP claimed that the agitation was losing steam. Madhya Pradesh agriculture minister Balkrishna Patidar claimed that supply of vegetables and milk from villages to agriculture markets in major parts of the state remained unaffected on Saturday. However, reports from Delhi and other regions indicated that vegetable prices have started shooting up.

Mr Patidar claimed that the strike has fizzled out.  “Where is the strike happening? No farmers are participating in the strike. Farmers are happy with the schemes the chief minister has launched for them. They have faith that the state government will solve their problems,” he told reporters in Bhopal.

The nation-wide strike has been called by the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, an umbrella organisation, seeking farm loan waiver, minimum support price (MSP) for produce and a procurement price of `50 per litre for milk, among other things.

Over 100 outfits across the country are taking part in the protest whose impact has mostly been concentrated in states like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and West Bengal. However, Sangh-affiliated farmer union Bharatiya Kisan Sangh is not participating in the strike claiming that it is “politically motivated”.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the agitating farmers “don’t have any issues and they are just focusing on unnecessary things… not selling produce will bring losses to farmers”.

Referring to Mr Gandhi’s proposed rally at Piplya Mandi village near Mandsaur, Mr Patidar accused the Congress chief of “trying to provoke the farmers” of the town which witnessed violent unrest in 2017. 

Tags: rahul gandhi, mp farmers protest
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi