Launching an attack on the Uttar Pradesh government over the issues of farmers,MP Varun Gandhi alleged on Friday that “crippling corruption” in procurement centres is completely out in the open and that they are forced to sell their grains to middlemen.
He also demanded a legal guarantee for the minimum support price (MSP), also one of the demands of farmer unions protesting against three farm laws, saying farmers will continue to be exploited in ‘mandis’ (markets for agricultural produce) as long as this is not done.
Gandhi sought stringent action in the matter.
He also posted a video of him speaking apparently to a government official at a mandi in Bareilly. Raising the issue of hardship facing farmers, Gandhi is heard saying that it is a matter of “big shame” for the state government.
The “nexus” between officials and middlemen to force farmers to sell their grains at a much lower price than stipulated is visible across the country, he alleged.
He is also heard warning the official that if his representative records any evidence of corruption or ill-treatment to farmers, then he will not make any request to the government but instead move court and get such officials arrested.
“At every procurement centre in the state there is crippling corruption which is completely out in the open. Farmers’ grains are forcibly rejected after which they sell their produce out of desperation to middlemen. The administration takes a cut,” he alleged.
He added,”With farmers already facing steep input costs, lack of fertilisers and inclement weather, saddling him with a system that ensures he sells at a loss is going to drive the next generation away from agriculture and threaten both our food and national security. It will also lead to social unrest and create fissures where none need exist.”