In UP for poll campaign, Chhattisgarh CM Baghel booked for flouting COVID norms

By PTI

LUCKNOW: The Congress on Wednesday released a white paper on agriculture and promised to increase the support price of wheat and paddy to Rs 2,500 a quintal besides a debt waiver for farmers if voted to power in the UP Assembly polls.

Releasing the white paper here, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel slammed the BJP-led Union government for not giving the legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP) for crops and alleged that an attempt is being made to crush farmers.

If voted to power, the Congress will increase the support price of wheat and paddy to Rs 2,500 a quintal and remove debt burden on farmers, he said.

The Congress will also implement a scheme to buy cow dung so that the cattle, which have been rendered useless, are not left to stray in the open, he said.

He also accused the Centre of betraying farmers.

Far from doubling the income of farmers as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the “anti-farmer policies” of the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state have led to an increase in the cost of farming, Baghel told reporters.

“It is the misfortune of our ‘annadatas’ that despite agitating for 14 months, they have not been given the guarantee of the MSP. It is unfortunate that the government has failed to give due respect to the hard work of the ‘annadatas’,” he said referring to the stir against the Centre’s farm laws.

Elaborating on problems faced by farmers like rising expense on agriculture, lack of proper remuneration for the produce and unavailability of fertilisers, Baghel said there is an attempt to crush farmers and the Lakhimpur incident, where farmers were mowed down under the vehicle of a minister’s son, is an example that this is going to be the fate of farmers.

The Chhattisgarh CM said after facing defeat in bypolls in several states, the BJP government decreased prices of petrol and diesel and said this means that if people have to get rid of inflation and ensure that farmers get right price of their produce, this government will have to be removed.

He flayed the government for imposing GST on tractors and agricultural machinery.

Stressing that politics is being played over cow in Uttar Pradesh, he said people have stopped keeping the cattle and they are roaming in the open.

“Farmers are saving their crops either by fencing or by staying awake the whole night. Cows are dying or have become weak in the cowsheds made for them but people running the cowsheds are getting fat,” he said.