Politics over development? Nitish govt bars farmers from visiting Guj

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Patna, Aug 27: Is Bihar trying to make Gujarat an 'untouchable' state in every field of public life? The state government has decided against sending farmers to attend the three-day Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Global Agricultural Summit, which will be organised by the Gujarat government from September 9.

Sources said the Nitish Kumar government had earlier started a process of selecting farmers who will participate in the programme but now it has dropped the plan, saying it was a political meet and participation was not required.

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The upcoming summit involves a nationwide programme and the Gujarat government had identified 126 farmers from Bihar to attend the summit to exchange ideas and techniques of farming. The summit is aimed at giving the farmers an exposure and an opportunity to interact with leaders in the field. The organisers felt the need of the hour is to increase productivity and utilise the latest technique and global practices in agriculture.

Two hundred firms from 15 countries are expected to join the global agriculture summit. The Gujarat government has sent invitations to various states to send farmers to attend the summit and even NGOs were roped in invite farmers for their participation.

Former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi criticised the JD(U) government for disallowing the state farmers, saying politics should not be made over key issues of development. He said soon the Bihar government could be seen barring its own people from visiting Gujarat.

Leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly Nand Kishore Yadav said the farmers' wing of the BJP in the state will send innovative farmers from various districts to take part in the summit.

It may be mentioned here that Nitish Kumar decided to end his party's 17-year-old relation with the BJP in June over the question of elevating Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the party ranks ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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