RAIPUR: Upset paddy farmers in Chhattisgarh are staging protest despite a bumper harvest and assurance by the Chhattisgarh government to procure all their produce, claimed to be the highest ever in the state.
The farmers are holding protests on the highways and premises of some district collectorate office over alleged mismanagement reported in paddy procurement centres. They have been staging demonstrations at the centres and some disillusioned with the apathy even threatened to commit suicide, while others have burned their produce.
The farmers have also threatened the government of moving the court to seek justice.
Thursday is the last day for paddy procurement in Chhattisgarh. The date of procurement was extended from February 15 to 20 by the Bhupesh Baghel cabinet.
Despite the state government assurance on every grain of the farmers would be purchased by it, the resentment continues among the agrarian community who claimed that despite the token system they had to wait for days to sell their paddy.
In several places across the state, there was shortage of gunny bags and other alleged mismanagement at various paddy procurement centres. “Some centres have got more gunny bags than the required resulting into some crisis at other places. The collectors have been instructed to resolve the issue at the earliest”, said the food minister Amarjeet Bhagat, who took urgent review meeting at the secretariat.
The state government has set the target of taking 85 lakh metric ton of paddy from farmers during the current Kharif season and it claimed to have procured 81.5 lakh MT so far.
Meanwhile, the police lathi-charge on agitating paddy farmers in Kondagaon district has stir storm in the state police circle. The opposition BJP accused the Bhupesh Baghel government as ‘anti-farmer’ had constituted a five-member team to inquire into the incident of lathi-charge. Former CM Raman Singh accompanied by senior BJP leaders met the Governor submitting memorandum against lathicharge, alleging gross mismanagement at the procurement centres and humiliation faced by farmers
The Congress leaders denounced blocking highways by the farmers cited that such protests were uncalled for, as the local people’s representatives besides the officials are always available to listen and resolve their problem.
“The Congress should now be ready to pay the political price”, said Vikram Usendi, BJP state president. The Congress leaders retorted citing that the BJP leaders are running baseless propaganda and misleading the farmers.
Since morning at various procurement centres in the state the BJP activists were seen in support of the demonstrating farmers.