Hundreds of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh farmers, demanding loan waiver, among other things, launched an indefinite ‘mahapadav’ (sit-in) at eight cities in Rajasthan on Thursday. “Farmers in hundreds are sitting across the state at divisional headquarters in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Bikaner, Bharatpur and Sikar. We want the government to listen and do something for welfare of farmers,” B.N. Chaudhary, a BKS functionary, told IANS over phone. Besides loan waiver, the farmers are also demanding rise in Minimum Support Price (MSP) based on input cost, calling of special session of the state assembly for discussion of their issues, formulating farmer-friendly agricultural policies and implementation of some irrigation projects.
“The state government should make it a crime if crops are purchased below MSP,” Chaudhary said.
He alleged that the state government also was trying to stop farmers from participating in the protest.
Meanwhile, the state government has cancelled the leave of district collectors and police officials in view of the protest and has asked them to keep a close watch on the situation.
Security has been tightened in areas around the ‘mahapadav’ sites. To pacify farmers, the state government has begun procurement of garlic and has also extended the date for wheat procurement to June 30.