NEW DELHI: On June 6, as part of his rally to observe the Mandsaur farmer deaths, Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to announce Kisan Samriddhi Sankalp, the party’s plan to improve conditions of farmers in the State with a fixed income, if it comes to power.
Gandhi will also launch his party’s campaign for the Madhya Pradesh assembly election on this day which is also the first anniversary of the death of five farmers in police firing in the same town.
All senior leaders of MP Congress are expected to be present at the event. MP is among States facing significant Farm crisis, with prices of garlic and potato falling below Rs 5, an issue Congress is banking on, to win elections slated end of the year.
The party will focus on farmers the most, as it did in Gujarat elections last year where the party improved its tally significantly. Rahul Gandhi had started the Congress’ campaign with the theme, “Yuva Rojgar, Kisan Adhikar” in Saurashtra, the region most affected by plummeting cotton prices, with special focus on farmers’ demands, holding several kisan sabhas across the State, eventually promising promising that their loans would be waived if his party forms government in the state.
Jitu Patwari, working president of MP Congress told ET that the main purpose of the rally was to announce how the Congress plans to change the fate of farmers in the State. “The debt on them in increasing every day but Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is busy claiming he has five national Krishi Karman awards. It is a shame that while farmers with their hard work are constantly producing more crops in the State, the government is doing nothing to get them proper remuneration or even stall middle men.”
Patwari said the situation is particularly bad in the Malwa-Nimad region comprising 15 districts, including Mandsaur. “Farmers are being forced to throw away their crops or sell them at extremely low prices because there is no help from the government.”
Malwa is also the largest garlic producing region in the State where the garlic farmers of the State are on a protest, saying they are being forced to throw away the produce instead of selling it owing to a sharp decline in wholesale prices bringing it to as low as Rs 1 per kg. Similarly in Dewas, farmers are selling small onions at a wholesale price of 50 paise/kg or even less.
“The aim of this rally that will see the participation of over a lakh farmers is mainly to bring out the reality of the State government’s handling of farmers’ issues and how both the centre and the State have failed them,” Patwari said.
Meanwhile, the State unit of the BJP has launched a massive people connect programme in the State where in senior State party leaders led by newly appointed president Rakesh Singh will be visiting districts to meet people, particularly groups of farmers. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has however said that farmers were not “unhappy” with his government and that the Congress was trying to instigate farmers. EOM