The main Opposition BJP has accused the UPA Government of giving a step-motherly treatment to the farmers across the country, and claimed that the “peasants’ debt was mounting due to the government’s misplaced priorities”.
Party chief Nitin Gadkari, who addressed a sit-in held here by the BJP Kisan Morcha, said the Congress was “looting” the people and that the government led by it could not be expected to protect the interests of the farmers.
“Till there is a Congress government, suicides by farmers will go on and prices of fertilisers will keep on rising. Farmers are under debt because of UPA’s policies,” he said.
Gadkari wondered as to why the Congress Government was not using the Krishna basin gas for making urea. He also threw down a gauntlet at Prime Minister Manmohan singh by asking “what steps have been taken by the Prime Minister to control the spiralling prices of fertilisers”. He added that the farmers could help to eradicate poverty and generate employment opportunities in the villages.
Echoing Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, demanded that “subsidy should be given to the farmers directly through their accounts just as it is being done in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh”. Swaraj, incidentally is an MP from Madhya Pradesh.
“There should be a review of subsidy policy; we demand that prices of fertilisers be rolled back. Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be increased for farmers’ produce.
“In BJP-ruled states like Karnataka and MP, there is no interest on loans and in Chhattisgarh, it is one per cent, but they (the UPA government) cannot give interest-free loans,” Swaraj added. She said that the party would raise the farmers’ issue in Parliament,” she said. “The UPA Government provides subsidy only on 23 fertilisers out of the 93 chemical fertilisers.
Because of this government’s anti-farmer policies, farming has become a less lucrative and profitable occupation,” added Swaraj.