Ahead of the crucial general election, the opposition Congress has taken up the cause of the farmers of the State and demanded the State Government to waive off the farmers’ loans and to address other problems plaguing the farming community. The party staged a protest meeting on Monday and threatened to gheroa the Vidhan Sabha in case the demands are not met.
Demanding complete loan waiver in the interest of the farmers, the members of Uttarakhand Kisan Congress held a rally on the day outside office of the city magistrate. The agitators said that they have written to the Chief Minister, mentioning their nine-fold demands-all in the interest of the farmers. The leaders associated with the farmers’ wing of the opposition party warned that they would march to the Assembly and gherao it if the demands are not met by the State Government.
Launching a scathing attack against the State Government, the State president of Kisan Congress Sushil Rathi said, “As the BJP Government is anti-farmer, the farmers are at the receiving end of its exploitative policies.
They are finding it impossible to carry the burden of the huge debt and they are subsequently ending their life to get relief. And the State Government is choosing to play the role of a mute spectator before the unfolding tragedy,” he said.
Buoyed by the loan waiver announced by some newly formed Congress Governments in some States, he said that the State Government must waive off the farmers’ loans immediately and do something to ensure free insurance of their crops.
Echoing the same sentiment, the zila panchayat vice- chairperson Rao Afaq Ali said that the party had served a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the office of the city magistrate on the day, urging the State Government to act on the demands promptly.
The Congress insiders said that the activists who have held the rally on the day belonged to the camp led by the former Chief Minister Harish Rawat. The leaders who were present at the rally included the MLA Mamta Rakesh and former MLA Tasleem Ahmed aside from Furkan Ali and Satpal Brahmchari.
However, according to the observers, the presence of the farmers was not much noticeable. “Harish Rawat would have to do lot of homework before he launches any such protest in the run-up to the election. Gathering party leaders and activists at such a rally is not enough. The important thing is to involve those for whom the programme is meant,” said a long-time political analyst.
Tuesday, 29 January 2019 | PNS | Haridwar
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