The Uttar Pradesh government is set to face embarrassment days after it launched its mid-term report card as hundreds of farmers from the state are marching towards New Delhi.
According to reports, hundreds of farmers gathered from around the state at a make-shift camp in Sector 69 of Noida in the Delhi-NCR region, last night. They started a march towards Delhi's Kisan Ghat early morning, Saturday.
More than 500 farmers, 200 of them from Saharanpur alone, camped in the city on Wednesday night. The farmers have come from Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, and Baghpat to draw attention to the evergreen problem of pending sugarcane dues and to protest against the recent hikes in electricity rates in the state, reported Times of India.
Apart from this, a 15-point demand document submitted to the government includes a request for complete loan waiver, implementation of MS Swaminathan report on agriculture, and a separate committee led by a high court judge to analyse the problems faced by farmers in western Uttar Pradesh, Navbharat Times reported.
The farmers asserted that they are left with no option and they would be heading to Delhi on Saturday morning.
"After negotiations between Agriculture Ministry officials and farmers failed, we are left with the only option now that is to march to Delhi to draw attention towards our demand. We will leave from here tomorrow morning, on our tractors," said Puran Singh, National President, Indian Farmers Organisation.
"We were trying our best that the authorities should listen to our demands here itself. Our journey began around eleven days ago but now we will be going to Delhi with our demands. I don't understand why didn't the government consider our demand that was given to them in writing. It has been decided that all the farmers will be heading to Delhi now," said Rajendra Yadav, State President, Indian Farmers Organisation.
They further requested the media and reporters to support them in this march and convey their message to everyone.
Farmers have decided to hold a hunger strike if their demands are not accepted even after their march to the national capital.
Meanwhile, as a firefighting measure, the Yogi Adityanath-led state government has issued an ultimatum to the sugarcane mill owners. The government has set the cane mills a 31 October deadline to clear dues of farmers, state minister Suresh Rana said, warning strict action against defaulters.
Rana, the minister of sugarcane development and sugarcane mills, while addressing a meeting in Shamli on Friday said dues of the growers should be settled by October end, before the crushing season begins, failing which recovery certificates will be issued and farmers will be paid by selling sugar from the godowns. Rana said two sugar mills, Tikola and Mansurpur, of total 17 in the Saharanpur district has cleared their dues, while three others -- Sarsawa, Deoband and Nanota -- has paid back 90 percent. He said the state government was taking all necessary measures to ensure full payment to the farmers.
However, the government is mum on other demands of the farmers.
Ghaziabad SP (city) Shlok Kumar said farmers were told not to take the law into their hands. Vehicular movement was stopped at different junctions in Ghaziabad on Friday to ensure the march remained peaceful, said the Times Of India report.
With inputs from agencies.
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Updated Date: Sep 21, 2019 11:45:55 IST