Himachal Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore on Wednesday accused the state government of conniving with traders to loot apple growers and said it is the reason that prices of the cash crop have fallen in the state.
He urged the state government to save farmers of Himachal from the loot of Adani group and this year, the group had reduced the purchase price of apples by Rs 16 which had adversely impacted Rs 5,000 crore apple market of the state.
“Covid and unexpected snowfall in the month of May has already broken the backbone of small farmers of the state.. The farmers are completely disappointed as they did not get any relief from the state government and they were expecting to get a better price this year but this will not happen now,” he said.
Rathore stated that Congress will tolerate exploitation of farmers and will stage protests if the grievances of the apple growers were not resolved.
He alleged that Ambani and Adani have full protection of the government and said today, the farmers were facing the brunt of three new agricultural laws.
He asked whether the government now wants that the orchardists also commit suicide like the farmers in other states of the country and said the cost of one apple box comes to around Rs 450 to 500 rupees while the same was fetching around Rs 600 in the market.
“Since 1984, the government used to give subsidies on insecticides, fungicides and other pesticides along with agricultural equipment in the state, but now the BJP government has stopped these,” he added.
He further stated that he had met chief minister Jai Ram Thakur to seek relief for apple growers on losses incurred in weather related incidents but neither Thakur nor the horticulture minister visited the affected areas or provided any relief to them.
He added that the people of the state will take revenge from the government on injustices meted out to them in upcoming elections in Himachal Pradesh.