BJP slams Government's new sugarcane pricing, procurement policy

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New Delhi, Nov 19(ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday supported the protesting sugarcane farmers of Uttar Pradesh in their agitation against new sugarcane pricing and procurement policy of the Union Government.

The protest held under the aegis of regional party, Rashtriya Lok Dal led by former Union Industry Minister Ajit Singh, also gained the support of Samajwadi Party and many other political outfits.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of the protest, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that the new sugarcane policy was 'an anti-farmer move.'

"It is an anti-farmer move, the Government wanted to bring a retrospective amendment which could relieve it from its liabilities of mill owners, but in the process it (Government) came under pressure from the mill owners and compensated them by bringing anti-farmer move," Jaitley said.

"These two provisions must be repealed, this is what we demand from the Government and the entire opposition is opposing it in the parliament. I see no way how this can be passed in the Rajya Sabha," he added.

The Union Government has announced a price of Rs 129.85 per quintal for sugarcane during the 2009-10 crushing season under FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) system. In case the State Government fixes SAP (State Advisory Price) higher than the FRP, it will have to pay the difference.

Agitated farmers of the State, which produces half of the country's sugarcane contended that they would intensify their protest if the Government does not fix the rate of sugarcane at Rs 280 per quintal.

Meanwhile, RLD activists also threatened to block the water supply to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh if the Union Government failed to take back sugarcane pricing and procurement policy.

"If the Government will not take back FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) policy, we will block the supply of water, milk and other essential commodities from Uttar Pradesh. We also held a Panchayat (assembly) in Meerut city, today we will also decide our future strategy," said Anuradha Chaudhary, senior RLD leader. (ANI)

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