Lalitpur (UP): Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Friday met families of four deceased farmers, who had allegedly faced shortage of fertilisers here, and charged that the fertiliser distribution system of Uttar Pradesh has failed due to collusion among black marketers, officials and leaders.
She also demanded a probe into why fertilisers were not reaching farmers.
Referring to the Lakhimpur Kheri incident of October 3, Gandhi said farmers are struggling from Lakhimpur to Bundelkhand region of the state.
“The government has an arrangement for distributing fertilisers and it is clear that it has failed because of the collusion among black marketers, officials and leaders,” Gandhi told reporters after meeting the families of four farmers.
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”Whatever the administration has done here is wrong. If there is collusion of officials, black marketers and leaders it should be probed as to how fertiliser is not reaching,” she said.
“I met the families of four farmers of whom two have committed suicide and two others lost their lives while standing in the queue of fertiliser for two to four days. They were standing continuously without food for days and died,” she said.
According to a Congress spokesman, Gandhi met the families of Bhogi Pal (55) of Naya Gaon village who died after he was taken seriously ill while standing in the queue for fertilisers, Sohi Ahirwar (40) of Mailwara Khurd who allegedly committed suicide after failing to get fertilisers, Mahesh Kumar Bunker (36) of Banyana Narahat village whose condition deteriorated while standing in the line for fertilisers and Bablu Pal (40) of Pali village who allegedly committed suicide.
In a tweet, the Congress leader said, “Bundelkhand, Lalitpur: Met the affected farmers’ families and shared their pain.” She also tagged the video of her interaction with the families.
Gandhi said the farmers told her that “one sack of fertiliser is available at Rs. 2,000″, and termed it as a clear case of black marketing.
Besides the price of fertilisers has gone up while the quantity available in the sacks has decreased, she claimed.
“The government has totally ignored farmers. This is not the problem of only these four families but it is happening in the entire Bundelkhand region,” she said, alleging that the government has been cruel to farmers.
“One girl was crying that she could not see even the face of her father, the cruelty of the government is at its peak. See for yourself, even though a minister’s son crushed farmers, nothing has been done to the minister and he continues to be on the post,” she said, referring to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son is an accused.
“See from Lakhimpur to Bundelkhand what is the state of farmers, how they are struggling and living. We come and listen and feel so bad and they are living this life. Every morning they get up to these problems of debts, fertiliser shortage. They are getting power bills when the supply is very less,” she said.
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
The Congress leader also referred to the stray cattle menace in the region which has been forcing farmers to guard their fields even at nights.
Farmers have so many problems and the government is not listening to them, she said, adding, farmers are on the road and no one is listening.
To a question on how her party will help the farmers, she said, “We have already resolved to provide Rs 2,500 per quintal for wheat and paddy and Rs. 400 to sugarcane farmers and waive off loans on coming to power in Uttar Pradesh”.
She dismissed questions relating to the upcoming election saying, “I have not come here to talk about elections.”