Farmers’ leader Raju Shetti, whose party Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) is part of the NDA, Sunday criticised the agricultural policies being adopted by the Narendra Modi government. He said farmers were disappointed that the government was continuing with the “anti-farmer” policies of the previous government and that his party would stage protests if the decisions taken in the last few days were not revised.
Shetti said he was unhappy with the government for its decision to include agriculture commodities — onion and potato — under the Essential Commodities Act and for not fulfilling the promise of ensuring 50 per cent profit over input cost of a crop.
“During his (Modi’s) election campaign, he had promised farmers that if elected he would ensure the minimum support price for agricultural products will be decided in such a way that the farmers get at least a 50 per cent profit over the total input cost for a crop. What happened now? Forget about 50 per cent profit, the new government has increased the minimum support price by only 1-2 per cent while the inflation has increased by 15-16 per cent,” Shetti told reporters in Pune.
Shetti’s party had been contesting both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls independently until 2014 Lok Sabha polls. In January 2014, when the party joined the NDA, Shetti had said the party decided to enter the alliance after he was promised that issues affecting Maharashtra farmers would be resolved.