A farmers’ organisation in Madhya Pradesh has said that it will campaign against 112 legislators, who belong to various parties, for their “failure” to take up the issues of cultivators.
Farmers would be asked to evaluate the works done by MLAs for their welfare, and cast votes “tactically” in the State Assembly elections due later this year, Aam Kisan Union leader Kedar Sirohi said.
“We have identified 112 MLAs, who were elected from the rural areas but never asked a question on the issues of farmers in the Assembly,” he said.
The strategy is to focus on those MLAs whose victory margin was less than 5,000 votes in the last State polls, he said.
Of the 112 legislators identified by the organisation, 86 are of the BJP, 24 of the Congress and two are Independents, Mr. Sirohi said.
“Our [union] leaders will not go to every village of the identified constituencies, but they will visit only 20 villages having sizeable farmers’ population in each Assembly segment. We will interact with the farmers and talk about their issues to convince them to vote tactically,” he said.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had last month said that his government deposited over Rs. 35,000 crore into the accounts of farmers as part of various State-run schemes over the past one year.
Mr. Sirohi said their organisation was not against any government or political outfit. “Farmers from rural areas elect representatives to raise their problems in the Assembly. But, instead of raising the farmers’ problems, the legislators speak and talk at the behest of their party leadership,” he alleged.
Farmers in the State have collectively lost Rs. 22,000 crore due to the ‘Bhavantar Bhugtan Yojana’ and there has been a loss of Rs. 33,000 crore due to damage of crops in natural calamities, Mr. Sirohi claimed. But, farmers across the State have been paid only Rs. 5,300 crore under the crop insurance scheme, he said.
The Yojana is a direct benefit transfer scheme under which the farmers are paid the difference between the modal price (average market price for a particular commodity over a stipulated period) and the MSP of crops.
Mr. Sirohi said they were not going to boycott the polls. “We will spread awareness among farmers to tactically vote in favour of those who would ensure the agri-loan waiver and sustainable income for cultivators.”
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