Congress legislators on Tuesday dumped loads of garlic at a gate of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on the opening day of the monsoon session, accusing the state BJP government of being apathetic towards farmers who were not getting adequate prices for their crops. Some videos had surfaced in the last few days on social media showing farmers throwing sacks full of garlic on roads and in rivers and drains in Madhya Pradesh, apparently after getting low prices for their produce.
One of the farmers had claimed they were being offered just Re one per kg for their garlic produce. On the first day of the MP Assembly’s monsoon session on Tuesday, Congress MLAs Sachin Yadav, Jitu Patwari, Kunal Choudhary, P C Sharma and others carried bags full of garlic on their shoulders and dumped key kitchen staple in front of gate number 3 of the Assembly.
The farmers are not getting even the input cost of their garlic produce. They are forced to sell it at just Re one per kg and therefore, have been throwing the produce in rivers and mandis in protest, Yadav told reporters. The government is talking about doubling the income of farmers, but the fact is that they are not even getting the input cost, he claimed.
The rising prices of fertilisers, seeds and diesel have already hit the farmers hard and now they are not even getting input cost of their produce, he added. Yadav demanded that the government immediately address the problems of farmers by implementing the ’Bhavantar Yojna’ (compensating difference in the cost of production and market price).
The opposition legislators, while proceeding towards the entrance gate, raised slogans like ”Kisano ke samman me, Congress maidan me, to express their support to farmers. They also alleged that the ruling BJP ”bought” legislators but was apathetic towards farmers and did not have money to buy the garlic cultivated by them.
Two years ago, 22 Congress MLAs had resigned, which led to the fall of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP later came to power in the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Recently, a number of videos emerged in which farmers were seen dumping garlic on roads and in rivers and drains, specially in MP’s Malwa and Nimar regions which are the major garlic producing areas. One such farmer, Vikas Sisodia, had claimed he was getting just Re 1 per kg for his garlic crop in Indore market and hence, he considered it appropriate to dump the produce in a drain near his village.
Sisodia had claimed he suffered a loss of Rs 3 lakh in cultivating garlic this year.