Former chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said that instead of celebrating, farmers were forced to hit the streets on “Kisan Diwas” for the first time in the history of the country. “Stop insulting farmers as “desh ka kisan, Bharat ka hai maan (farmers are the country’s honour),” he said hitting out at the BJP.
Akhilesh said farmers in Gonda and Azamgarh districts have not been paid for their produce by the sugar mills. “The government should inform why payment has not been made so far. If this was the condition of farmers in Uttar Pradesh, then what right did the BJP have to claim itself to be farmers’ well-wisher,” he added.
The Congress, meanwhile, hit the streets, protesting across the state in solidarity with the farmers. Congress leaders demonstrated in front of the houses of BJP MPs in different parts of the state by clapping, and clanging of pots and pans, saying they need to wake up the BJP government from “deep slumber”.
Congress state president Ajay Kumar Lallu said while the BJP government is talking about doubling income, farmers are dying by suicide across the state and are not getting their dues for their produce. “The farmers are staging protests at the borders of Delhi amid biting cold. So far 28 farmers have died. But, the government is indifferent to the fact that the farmers are losing their near and dear ones. The BJP government and its public representatives are sleeping like demon king Kumbhakarna in arrogance,” Lallu said.
Congress workers were put under house arrest in Mirzapur and Lucknow, while they were detained in several districts. In Gorakhpur, the Congress workers, led by Gorakhpur district president Nirmala Paswan and city chief Ashutosh Tiwari, surrounded the house of BJP MLA Radha Mohan Das Agarwal.
Lallu accused the BJP government of imposing an undeclared emergency in the state at a time the saffron party is holding rallies in other states. “When the Congress workers want to stage a symbolic protest, then the Congress workers are either arrested or put under house arrest. The BJP governments at the Centre and in UP cannot suppress the voice of the farmers. Until the demands of the farmers are met, the Congress workers will continue with their protests,” Lallu said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines