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PM should make statement on farmers distress: CPI

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi should make a public statement on the farmers’ distress in the country and spell out the steps his government has taken to resolve the agrarian crisis, the CPI said today.

“Why is the prime minister mum on the serious agrarian crisis and farmers woes,” party national secretary D Raja said.

“At a time when farmers in Maharashtra and other parts are agitating for loan waiver and remunerative prices to agri produce, our PM isn’t saying anything on the issue,” Raja told PTI.

“We support the farmers and are with them in their struggle,” the CPI leader said.

Cultivators in Maharashtra launched a stir for their demands on June 1, suspending supply of milk and vegetables to urban centres.

After a partial loan waiver was announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for small and marginal farmers last Saturday, a section of farmers announced withdrawal of the agitation. However, protests continued as another section stuck to its demand for a blanket loan waiver.

Raja said the BJP governments should make their stance on the farmers agitation clear. “Does the government have any policy for farmers, many of whom are committing suicides,” he said.

Farmers have genuine demands and they are undergoing distress, the Left leader said, adding that the BJP government has failed to address farmers’ grievances and remained utterly insensitive to their plight.

“Farmers are in the grip of indebtedness. The government helps corporates but doesn’t want to help farmers,” he claimed.

The prime minister should address the nation on farmers issues and outline the measures his government was taking to lessen their misery, Raja said.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) claimed that the farmers were killed in “unprovoked” police firing and said it “exposed the anti-farmer character of the ruling BJP”.

The CPI(M) Politburo, currently in session in New Delhi, demanded that the government should immediately suspend the culprits responsible for ordering the firing and insisted on compensating kin of those who were killed.

“The Politburo strongly condemns the brutal killing of the kisans (farmers) in police firing in Madhya Pradesh,” the party alleged in a statement.

“This unprovoked police firing clearly exposes the anti- kisan character of the BJP in general and the state government in particular,” it alleged.

Taking to Twitter, party general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, “Today’s incident in MP shows us the difference between what the BJP says, and what it does. Condolences to families of the farmers killed (sic).”

The party also extended its support the ongoing protests by farmers in Maharashtra and asked the Fadnavis government in the state to fulfil the demands of the peasants.

–PTI