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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Varun Gandhi writes to UP CM: Increase sugarcane price, double PM KISAN amount

In his letter, Varun Gandhi suggested that the sugarcane selling price should be increased to Rs 400 per quintal from Rs 315 in Uttar Pradesh. Farmers should be given an additional bonus of Rs 200 per quintal above the MSP of wheat and paddy, Gandhi said.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: September 13, 2021 7:29:06 am
Varun Gandhi, Uttar pradesh, yogi adityanath, Yogi, PM KISAN funds, sugar cane prices, farm laws, UP BJP, BJP, farmers protest, Farmers, indian express, indian express news, UP farmers, UP news, current affairsBJP MP Varun Gandhi. (File)

A week after extending support to the agitating farmers with his tweet, BJP MP Varun Gandhi has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeking various relief measures for farmers in the state and sought a substantial rise in sugarcane prices, bonus on wheat and paddy, doubling the amount of PM KISAN scheme and subsidy on diesel.

In his letter, which he posted on his Twitter handle, Gandhi suggested that the sugarcane selling price should be increased to Rs 400 per quintal from Rs 315 in Uttar Pradesh. Farmers, who he said has been in distress, should be given an additional bonus of Rs 200 per quintal above the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and paddy, Gandhi said.

Sugarcane is mainly grown in western UP, which is the epicentre of the farmers’ protest in the state against the Centre’s farm laws. In the two page letter to Adityanath, the Pilibhit MP listed out all the problems and demands of the farmers and at the same time also suggested solutions for the same. Tagging the letter, the three-term MP said: “I hope issues of the sons of the soil will be heard,” he tweeted in Hindi.

At a time when the BJP government in UP claimed that it had cleared more than 80 per cent of dues to about 4.5 million sugar cane farmers of the state, Varun Gandhi pointed out that some dues were still unpaid. The UP government has claimed that Rs 1,42,650 crore was given to the farmers in the last four years.

Gandhi, in his tweet last week, had called for re-engaging with protesting farmers: “Lakhs of farmers have gathered in protest today, in Muzaffarnagar. They are our own flesh and blood. We need to start re-engaging with them in a respectful manner: understand their pain, their point of view and work with them in reaching common ground,” the Pilibhit MP had tweeted as farmer protest against the contentious laws resumed with new vigour in many parts of Uttar Pradesh.

The BJP MP also pitched for the doubling of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme to Rs 12,000 per annum for farmers with the state government contributing Rs 6,000 from its own funds. The PM KISAN scheme is an initiative by the Centre through which all farmers will get up to Rs 6,000 per year as minimum income support.

In his letter, Gandhi shared the concerns of the farmers over the high charges of electricity and diesel price. He urged the chief minister to provide a subsidy of Rs 20 per litre on diesel to farmers and reduce the power prices with immediate effect.

Last week, Uttar Pradesh witnessed a massive gathering of farmers in Muzaffarnagar in which Jat leader Rakesh Tikait’s call to vote against the BJP in the upcoming elections. Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to vote for a fresh assembly in early 2022. However, the BJP leaders argued that the call for vote against the party at the Jat Mahapanchayat would not have any deep impact on its prospects in the elections. Party leaders said the central government’s moves to clear sugarcane dues and the MSPs paid by the state government could offset any potential damage.

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