New Delhi, Feb 27: The Left parties on Tuesday joined hands with the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) to protest against the Central Government"s “anti-farmer and anti-poor" policies.
The UNPA staged the massive protest demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report as well as the report submitted by the costs and agricultural prices committee. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded waiver of farmers" debts. “We demand that the debts of the farmers should be waived and they should be given profitable prices for their produce. We are fighting for the cause of the farmers since the last several years," said Yadav.
Communist Party of India-Marxists (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat demanded that interest on farm loans should be brought down to four per cent. "We demand from the UPA Government that it should include a provision in the upcoming budget to grant loans to farmers at four percent," said Karat.
The left criticised the Centre"s decision to import wheat at a much higher rate than the procurement price fixed for the grain to the Indian farmers. “For the first time since independence, last year we imported five thousand quintals of wheat. We purchased wheat at a whopping price of 1200 to 1600 rupees per quintal, and our farmers are being given much lower prices," CPI-M senior leader Sitaram Yechury said.
“The government fixed 850 rupees per quintal as procurement price of the wheat but in reality they get less than that. If the government is ready to pay 1600 rupees to foreigner farmers and 800 to Indian farmers, then such things would not be tolerated," Yechury added.
Thousands of activists from different states of the country participated in the rally.