CHANDIGARH: Milk and vegetables were dumped on the road at few places in Punjab as a mark of protest as the farmers today launched a ten day agitation to demand better prices for their agricultural produce.
A few farmers dumped vegetables in Faridkot to show their resentment against the government, while another group of dairy farmers threw milk in Machiawara near Ludhiana.
Admitting that a few farmers have dumped their produce and milk at a couple of places in the state, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Punjab Unit President Balbir Singh Rajewal said, "I have sent a message to all the famers across the state not to dump vegetables or milk and this is not the style of our protest. If they want they can give it for free to the poor and needy."
The first day of their agitation had been peaceful, he said.
"We will only sell our produce and milk in the villages and on the first day today we got a good response from all over as at many villages people came from the cities and bought vegetables and milk," he said.
He claimed good response from farmers in Punjab. "Farmers have stopped bringing vegetables, milk and other items to the cities for sale. During this ten day long protest, the farmers will stay in their villages and will not go to cities for supplying their produce but are free to sell their produce in the village by setting up famers huts," he said.
“We have also been demanding minimum income guarantee scheme, implementation of Swaminathan Commission report and waiver of farmers’ debt,” said Rajewal.
Meanwhile, Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu today visited village Patto in Fatehgarh Sahib and purchased milk and vegetables from a farmer. He visited the farmhouse of farmer Gursharan Singh and made the purchase of milk and vegetables.
Lashing out at the Union Government, Sidhu said that the report of Swaminathan Commission is not being implemented and the farmers are not getting adequate price for their crops leading to escalation in suicides by the farmers.
Advocating the fixing of Minimum Support Price (MSP) of the crops as per the oil prices, Sidhu said that during the past 25 years the oil prices have increased twelve fold whereas the MSP has only increased by five percent.
Sidhu further said that he has come to support the demonstration of the farmers and be the one to voice their due rights.