Farmers protest against hike in petrol and diesel prices

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New Delhi, Mar 5 (ANI): Hundreds of farmers from northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana converged in the national capital to stage a mass protest rally against the UPA Government's policies on Friday.

This rally by farmers vented their ire at the steep rises in the prices of fuel and fertilizers and demanded that the federal government should give them adequate rates for their farm produce.

Farmers from the northern states of Haryana and Punjab owning allegiance to the Bharatiya Kisan Union commenced their rally from the Ramalila Grounds in the national capital and culminated it at Jantar Mantar in the national capital.

Later, the police personnel stopped them near Patel Chowk from proceeding ahead. The protestors then staged a sit-in protest on the road, leading to traffic jams to jams.

"We are taking out this rally because the farmers are upset with the federal government's plans and policies. By reducing the prices of wheat and hiking the prices of fertilisers and diesel, the government has burdened us heavily and this protest is in regard to the same," said Sewa Singh Arya, General Secretary, Bharatiya Kisan Union, Haryana.

"We want that the hiked rates of fuels and fertilisers should be rolled back and we should get profitable prices for our produce so that the consumer and the producers are both satisfied.

"Today, the main problem is that the farmers and consumers are both unhappy because the vegetables are bought at very low prices in the market from us and the intermediaries earn a hefty amount by selling it at much higher prices to the consumer," added Sewa Singh.

It may be recalled that the UPA government had announced an increase of only rupees 20 (45 cents) per quintal for wheat for the 2010-11 season.

However, the farmers contended that the amount spent on producing the commodity is much more and the farmers want that the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat (per quintal) should be fixed at 2436 rupees.

They also demanded for loan waivers for farmers with less than 10 acres of cultivation land and also to provide government jobs for marginal farmers who do not have sufficient agricultural piece of land.

"Our farming expenditure has increased manifold. So much so that we may be forced to leave the profession of agriculture. We will then just produce for ourselves. There is such a heavy burden of oans on us and that is why we, the farmers are forced to compelled to resort to committing suicides," observed Kuldeep Singh, a farmer from Punjab. (ANI)

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