Opposition stages walks out in UP assembly over cane farmers issue

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Lucknow, Aug 20 (UNI) The Samajwadi Party, BJP and Congress members today staged a noisy walkout from the Uttar Pradesh assembly, after the government refused to pay the cane prices as per the State Advisory price (SAP) and the Speaker refused to accept their demand for a debate on the issue.

State sugarcane development minister Nasimuddin Siddique replying to a question of BJP member Virendra Singh Sirohi in the state assembly said the Allahabad High Court had given time to the sugar mills to pay the farmers due till September 7, 2008 and hence the government would not take any action against the erring mills till then.

He also announced that the state government would move a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the High Court decision to implement the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs 89 per quintal by the sugar mills in the payment to the farmers.

The government also rejected the Congress demand that the governemnt should pay the difference of SAP of Rs 120-Rs130 and the MSP of Rs 89 through subsidy to the cane farmers.

The Minister said the government has issued Recovery Certificate (RC) against 70 sugarmills for non-ayment of the dues, while executives of two mills have been sent to jail.

Dissatisfied with the government's reply, the Congress, SP and BJP members staged a noisy walkout from the House in protest.

Later talking to mediapersons, leader of the Opposition Mulayam Singh Yadav said the government was anti-farmer and least concerned over their problems.

'' The government is spending over Rs 3000 crore on statues, stones and monuments but were ignoring the genuine demands of the farmers'', he said.

Congress legislature party leader Pramod Tiwari said the government had not contested the case in favour of the farmers against the sugarmill owners in the High Court.

Meanwhile in another question, the government denied that there was any proposal to provide unemployment allowances to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) youths in the state.

State food and supply minister Ram Prasad Choudhury said the state had sent a proposal of a pilot project of cash against foodgrain under the PDS scheme.''The Centre is yet to approve the schemes meant for Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri districts'', he said.

UNI MB SB LPB KP1710

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