Dharia warns of nationwide agitation over farmers demand

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Nagpur, Jan 26 (UNI) Octogenarian leader and former Union Minister Mohan Dharia has today warned of a countrywide agitation from March 1 if the Centre does not announce complete loan waiver for farmers in the forthcoming budget.

Addressing a ''dharna'' agitation by farmers to press their demand for loan waiver here, Mr Dharia said that the stir would be staged in every district in the country if the announcement was not made when the budget is presented.

''The farmers will not elect even a single candidate of the ruling party in the next elections if the government does not concede their demand even after the agitation,'' he said.

The government must initiate steps, including loan waiver, to alleviate the sufferings of the farmers because it was the failure of the country's leadership, and not that of the cultivators, that had caused the current agrarian crisis in the country, Mr Dharia said.

The farmer has run out of patience, and the government must protect his interests by providing him good seed, proper facilities for cultivation and remunerative prices for his produce, he said.

''The demand for loan waiver is not for the sake of farmers alone -- it is for the sake of preserving the country's freedom itself,'' the 83-year old leader said, adding that farmers could arrest global warming by making efforts to harvest the maximum quantity of rainwater in their fields and villages.

Calling upon the farmers to put up a united struggle against an ''unjust'' government, Mr Dharia said all political parties must also join the movement irrespective of their ideologies to fight together for the rights of farmers.

Mr Dharia said the Confederation of National Rural NGO's (CNRI) would support the farmers' agitation. A conference of CNRI was scheduled to be held in New Delhi on February 6 and 7 next to assess the situation and chalk out the further course of action, he added.

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