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Mulayam terms wheat import `anti-farmer’

Wednesday 5 July 2006

Following flawed Central policies, over 4,200 farmers in the country have committed suicide

Rae Bareli: Samajwadi Party supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Tuesday alleged the Central Government’s decision to import wheat was a "well-laid out conspiracy" against Indian farmers.

Addressing a public meeting at Dih in the Rae Bareli parliamentary constituency of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Yadav maintained the UPA Government was resorting to a series of anti-farmer steps.

"Following flawed Central policies, over 4,200 farmers in the country including Maharashtra and Punjab have committed suicide," he noted.

Upping the ante against the Congress-led UPA, he claimed rising inflation, unemployment and corruption were results of the wrong policies of the Centre.

"The rich are becoming richer, while the poor are getting seeped in poverty. In fact, big industrial houses are running the country indirectly," Mr. Yadav warned.

The Chief Minister lamented that the Central Government gets miffed if his regime opposes their "wrong policies".

"If farmers get better price in the open market than the minimum support price, we will not force them to sell their produce at prices fixed by the Government."

Mr. Yadav asserted if the Centre reverted the decision to import 35 lakh tonnes wheat and offered the same price to Indian farmers, his government could provide that quantum of wheat.

"The Centre is also exerting pressure on U.P. to buy 10 lakh tonnes wheat, but we will never relent in the interests of our farmers," he assured.

The SP chief warned the wheat prices would touch Rs. 1,000 per quintal following the import, which he termed as "rejected produce" of the source country.

On the occasion, the Chief Minister made mention of the achievements of his government, including unemployment allowance and free medicines.

"If other States do not replicate our policies, the ruling governments there would be uprooted by the people," Mr Yadav observed.

"We are especially working for the emancipation of women and backwards. Our fight is confined within the canons of democracy and have nothing to do with horse-trading," the former defence minister underlined. — UNI

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