LUCKNOW: In an apparent bid to woo farmers ahead of the assembly polls early next year, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has made several pro-farmers announcements including withdrawing cases against them for stubble burning and launching a one-time settlement (OTS) scheme for interest waiver on their electricity dues.
According to a senior official, the chief minister while interacting with a delegation of progressive farmers the previous day said, "All the cases of stubble burning against the farmers will be withdrawn and decision will also be taken to revoke the fine imposed on them."
"The government will also ensure that because of power dues, no electricity connection of the farmers will be snapped and OTS scheme will be brought to waive interest on the power dues," he said.
The chief minister also said cane price will be increased and a decision in this regard will be taken after talks with all the stakeholders.
He said sugar mills of western region will start functioning from October 20 while mills of Eastern region will begin operation from October 25.
The chief minister said dues of cane to the tune of Rs 1.42 lakh crore pending since 2010 were paid by the government and before the start of the next crushing season, all pending payments will be cleared.
The state had done a record 56 lakh MT purchase of wheat from farmers on the minimum support price despite the adverse conditions due to the pandemic.
For the last few years, the Supreme Court has been prodding the Centre and the state governments to stamp out stubble burning, especially in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh, which aggravates air pollution in Delhi every year in October-November.
The government move to revoke stubble burning cases is seen as an attempt to woo farmers to counter their agitation against the new farm laws.
Farmers particularly from western Uttar Pradesh along with those from other states are on the warpath with the BJP-led government at the Centre over three agri legislations.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is spearheading the stir at the borders of Delhi, has declared that it will mobilise support against the saffron party in the upcoming state polls in Uttar Pradesh.
The announcements made by the chief minister are being seen as part of efforts to pacify the agitating farmers, who are a key factor on many seats particularly in the western part of the state.