Congress president Sonia Gandhi (File photo)
Congress president Sonia Gandhi (File photo)

Sonia attacks Centre, says farmers being forced to observe black Deepawali

ANI | Updated: Oct 26, 2019 20:32 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 26 (ANI): Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday attacked the BJP-led Central government, saying farmers were being forced to observe "black Deepawali" as the kharif crops were being sold at an average 22.5 per cent below the minimum support price (MSP) and demanded that "double exploitation" of farmers should stop.
In a statement on the eve of Diwali, Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government of not fulfilling its promise of giving MSP at 50 per cent over the input cost and alleged that it has been giving profit to "a few middlemen" year after year and "looting crores of rupees of farmers."
She said the way the kharif crops are being sold "below MSP" it will result in Rs 50,000 crore loss to farmers and the Rajdharma of the government was to prevent the exploitation of farmers.
"The BJP government had laid the foundation of betrayal of farmers soon after coming to power. The question is why during the festival days, the farmers are forced to observe black Deepawali," she asked.
Gandhi said the Kharif crops were being sold 8 to 37 per cent below the MSP in different agricultural markets. "Kharif crops are being sold at an average of 22.5 per cent below the MSP. The crores of farmers ... why are they not getting the price for their crops? What is their fault?" she asked.
Gandhi named several khairf crops including pulses, sunflower, sorghum and pearl millet.
She said even the farmer who had sown paddy is getting Rs 200 per quintal less than the MSP in the "garb of the presence of moisture" in the crop.
She said the foodgrain production of Rs 140.57 million tonnes is expected during Kkharif 2019-20.
"The way crops are being sold at an average 22.5 per cent below MSP, it alone will result in Rs 50,000 crore loss to farmers. Who will pay for it?," she asked.
The Congress leader also expressed concern over the MSP declared by the government for 2020-21 Rabi crops and said it had been raised by "four to seven per cent" as compared to the previous year.
"On one hand, the BJP-led government has imposed 4 per cent GST on manure, 12 per cent on agriculture equipment and 18 per cent on pesticides which has put an unnecessary burden on the farmers, on the other the price of diesel is rising constantly," she said.
"The result is that they are not getting the due price of crop and exports are also decreasing. Farmers are facing a double blow. Congress demands that the double exploitation of farmers should stop and they get proper price for their hard work. This is the real Rajdharma of the government," said Gandhi. (ANI)