Pune: Members of various farming communities have slammed the BJP government for failing to meet their demands. Around 300 farmers from all over India had gathered for a national conference in the city, to find solutions to problems of farmers.
The conference concluded on Tuesday, after which the members, headed by farmers’ leader Raghunathdada Patil of Shetkari Sanghatana organised a protest rally from SM Joshi hall to Shaniwarwada. The farmers also discussed their problems of not getting minimum support price, farmer unfriendly policies of the government, the reluctance of the government to solve farmers’ problems, loan waiver, pesticide poisoning and others. Kalidas Apet of Shetkari Sanghatana said that the government’s policy on import and export is harming the farming community. “When there is a shortage of any commodity, we are asked to produce more crops, but then the government starts importing from other nations, which affects the price in India. When there is excess production, we are asked to sell our product at a lower price, which is why farmers suffer,” added Apet.
The farmers gathered at Shaniwarwada vowed not to pay electricity bills. Another leader Kishor Dhamale said that the BJP government kept on changing the statistics of loan waiver and made the entire process complex. Sushmita Sarang, who had come for the conference from Jharkhand, said that it was high time women also participate in protests related to farmers. “We have to solve our problems by ourselves and not rely on the government and so, we must come together to fight,” she added.
B Balbinder, a farmer from Punjab, said that government agencies have failed to address the problem for the last 70 years and so, there was no point in hoping the government will address farmer issues. “The farming community has been plagued by same problems since Independence and so there is need to find ways to solve the problems,” he added.
Raghunathdada stressed that the national conference was called to find solutions to problems of farmers, including electricity issue, water management, education for farmers and others.