A day after the Uttar Pradesh government announced a new state advisory price (SAP) for sugarcane, the opposition Saturday accused Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav of compromising on prices because of the sugar lobby.
The state government Friday announced a SAP for sugarcane at Rs.275-290 per quintal for the current year.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for a state-wide demonstration on the decision.
State BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpayi told IANS that the government announcing SAP two days after the assembly was adjourned smacked of a conspiracy against farmers and cane growers.
"What is the point of declaring it (SAP) after the assembly? They knew if they did not give a good price when the winter session was going on, they would have been put on the mat," he said.
Bajpayi said the stand of the ruling Samajwadi party (SP) was paradoxical since it was staging a walk out in the Lok Sabha over paddy purchases while it was pushing cane growers in Uttar Pradesh to the brink.
The BJP wanted SAP to be fixed at Rs.400 per quintal, he said.
Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president and MP Nirmal Khatri too said the SAP was "indeed a disappointment".
"We regret to say that this is not going to help cane growers who have huge pending payments from sugar mills from last year's crushing season," he said.
State president of Rashtriya Lok Dal Munna Singh Chauhan told IANS that the SAP had exposed the SP leadership and their "crocodile tears for farmers".
"This is a joke on cane growers. They will not even be able to take out the money they had put into the crop, forget profits," he said.
However, UP Cooperative Sugar Mill Federation Managing Director R.P. Arora lauded the support price and said it would benefit sugar mill owners as well cane growers.
The previous Bahujan Samaj Party government had paid Rs.240-250 per quintal as SAP for sugarcane.