The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government must address the basic problems of farmers at the earliest or prepare to face a "Mandsaur-like situation" in the state, a farmer leader said on Thursday.
Taking a dig at the crop loan waiver scheme announced by Yogi Adityanath at his first cabinet meeting, Shekhar Dixit, national president of the Rashtriya Kisaan Manch, said the basic issue is of minimum support price that most farmers are unable to get.
"If the Uttar Pradesh government is really serious about addressing the problems and plight of the farmers, then it must start resolving their problems lest a Mandsaur-like situation grip the state and unrest fans out," Dixit said, referring to the violence in Madhya Pradesh where five farmers were killed in police firing on Tuesday.
Loan waiver was no solution to the problems, which plague the farming community in the state or in the country, he added.
"The basic issue is of minimum support price, which a large section of farmers are unable to get. This virtually pushes them into the vicious cycle of poverty, and it takes several years for them to break this vicious cycle and embark on the path of prosperity."
Dixit, 33, was also of the view that farmers would not benefit till decisions pertaining to their welfare are taken from the confines of air-conditioned cabins.
"The clarion call of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisaan (Hail Soldier, Hail Farmer), which was given by former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, has been reduced to a mere slogan. Time has come for us to redress the grievances of the farmers of the farmers at the earliest in order to thwart an impending disaster," Dixit said.
In August 2016, the farmer leader had demanded a separate commission for farmers with constitutional powers and representation of farmers in it.
"Like Nirvachan Aayog (Election Commission), the Kisaan Aayog would have constitutional powers with representation of farmers in it."
Dixit had also highlighted the need for construction of more cold storage facilities across the state.
The Rashtriya Kisaan Manch was founded by former prime minister V P Singh in 1989.
Reacting to the forum's criticism, the state BJP said the Yogi Adityanath government was responsive to farmer needs.
"Unlike the previous governments, the Yogi Adityanath government is sensitive to the feelings of the farmers. The work done for the farmers by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has not been done by any government (either at the Centre or at the state) in the last 70 years," said state BJP spokesperson Manish Shukla.
"This could be best exemplified by the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and waiver of crop loans by the Yogi government. There has been record wheat purchase after the Yogi government came to power. The Mandsaur incident is unfortunate, and soon the faces of the culprits will be unveiled," he added.
Copyright © 2016 The Statesman Limited. All Rights Reserved.