The state unit of Congress on Friday declared to organise village bandhs and farmers agitation against the state government for showing less area under kharif cultivation in 2012 than the actual area sown.
Although,the party did not specify the date when the bandh would be held,Congress leaders announced that the agitation would include gherao of BJP ministers visiting or passing through the villages. Their aim,as they put it,was to focus the ruling partys attention on its failure in this regard.
Addressing mediapersons here on Friday,state party president Arjun Modhwadia said the discrepancy in the actual area cultivated during kharif 2012 and the figures given in the state governments report had resulted in many farmers losing out on their crop insurance for kharif 2012. He held the state government responsible for this anomaly.
He further alleged that state government avoided giving the Centre the correct figures because it would then have to shell out more money for compensation towards crop insurance cover,which was a participatory scheme on a 50:50 basis between the Centre and the state.
Giving figures,which it claimed to have received through an RTI application,Modhwadia said that while the total area sown in kharif 2012 was 14.12 lakh hectares,the state government,in its report to the Union Agriculture Ministry,said the kharif crops were sown over an area of 8.08 lakh hectares only.
Stating that the method of compensation was based either on yield per hectare area or on yield per hectare,he said that the farmers were now to get only Rs.1,607 crore as compensation. Had the exact area sown had been mentioned in its report by the state government,the total compensation to farmers would have amounted to Rs. 2,828 crore.
The negligence of the state government has resulted in a huge loss to farmers, he pointed out.
According to him,farmers in Amreli,Junagadh,Rajkot,Jamnagar,Bhavnagar,Porbander,Sabarkantha,Banaskantha and Ahmedabad were the most-affected. They lost their kharif crops in 2012 due to poor rains.
In response to a question that BJP leaders planned agitation against the Centre over the issue,he said: Let BJP leaders demonstrate against their government in Gandhinagar,where it failed to provide the correct figure about the loss of crops.