Open procurement centres: Cong. leaders
Former Ministers Sharan Prakash Patil and Priyank Kharge; Ajay Singh, MLA; Tippannappa Kamaknur, MLC; Jagadev Guttedar, District Congress Committee president; B.R. Patil, former MLA; K.B. Shanappa, Allamprabhu Patil, Subhash Rathod, and other senior Congress leaders warned the State government of an agitation if it would not open procurement centres for green gram and black gram within a week.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, they said that the farmers had been forced to sell the crop cheaper than the minimum support price fixed by the Union government.
“Green gram is grown on around 80,000 hectares in Kalaburagi district. Though the Union government has fixed a MSP of ₹7,025 a quintal, the farmers are forced to sell their crop at around ₹5,000 a quintal. What is the use of announcing the MSP if the government doesn’t procure the crops at it? If the centres are not opened within a week, the Congress will mobilise the growers and launch an agitation,” Mr. Patil said. Mr. Priyank recalled how the previous Congress government had opened the centres by August every year and began purchasing the crops.
When asked about the import of pulses hitting domestic growers, Mr. Patil and Mr. Priyank blamed the Union government for an unscientific import policy.
“The BJP government at the Centre has signed a pact with Mozambique for importing pulses to India for five years. The imports are made duty-free to help big importers. Such an import policy is hitting the local farmers hard,” Mr. Patil added.