Jaipur: The Congress will start a 100-kilometre mega rally in Rajasthan next week, which will pass through the constituencies of the chief minister and her son, to press for various demands such as redressing farmer issues.
The party will also hold a protest in all district headquarters on Thursday over rising fuel prices, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot told reporters.
The 'Kisan Nyay Yatra' will start from Baran district on 3 October and culminate into 'Kisan Sammelan' on 6 October in Jhalawar. Chief minister Vasundhara Raje's Assembly constituency — Jhalrapatan — falls under Jhalawar district, and her son, Dushyant Singh, is the present Lok Sabha MP of Jhalawar-Baran Lok Sabha constituency.
The rally will be held to put pressure on the government for a complete loan-waiver for farmers, GST exemption on agriculture equipment and raising the minimum support price for their produce, Pilot said.
"Seventy-five cash-strapped farmers in Rajasthan were forced to commit suicide and most of the suicides have occurred in the Hadoti region of the state, of which Raje is also a representative," Pilot clarified for choosing Baran to commence the rally.
The 40-year-old former Union minister alleged that farmers have "suffered the most" in the last three years apart from youths, traders and middle-class families.
"Input cost is increasing and farmers are not getting the right price for their crops," he alleged.
Pilot said the Congress wanted the state government to ensure at least a 50 percent profit margin over the farmers' input costs and appropriate bonus for agricutural yields.
He said the Congress will call for the immediate purchase of agricultural output by government bodies, besides exclusion of agricultural tools from the GST's purview and amendment in the Essential Commodities Act to permit farmers to export their produce.
He also attacked the BJP leaders in the government, who protested against rising fuel prices when the UPA was in power, but now have maintained a studied silence.
"BJP leaders, who are now ministers in the government, garnered votes from people riding on their sympathies on rising fuel prices.
I saw archived videos of those BJP leaders. The BJP manifesto clearly mentions reducing fuel prices,” Pilot said.
Pilot also questioned the logic of people paying the same price for fuel, at a time when the international crude oil prices have come down from USD 145 per barrel during the UPA regime, to $50-55 per barrel now.
The protest march will be led by Pilot, who will be accompanied by leader of Opposition Rameshwar Dudi.
The former union minister also hit out at the BJP government's policies alleging "improper implementation" of GST and demonetisation, which he said have worsened the plight of farmers.
"The farmers have not been able to realise even their input costs in cash crops like tomato, onion and garlic and have been forced to throw their produce on the roads. Congress remains committed to alleviate the common populace from the inept policies of the current government," he said.
Updated Date: Sep 27, 2017 21:21 PM