New Delhi: Congress on Thursday demanded
Centre`s immediate intervention to ensure paddy growers in
Uttar Pradesh get the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their
produce, alleging that majority of farmers are forced to sell
it at cheaper rates.
"Senior officers of the full ministry must immediately
visit UP, particularly the paddy growing areas and ensure MSP
to the farmers," AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said in
a letter to Food and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.
also wanted a special Central team be sent to Basti district
in the state to ensure that farmers get the MSP as there are
"maximum complaints of farmers" there.
He alleged that state Food Minister Ram Prakash
Choudhury, who belongs to Basti has a "vested interest" as he
owns a rice mill.
"There were serious complaints of non-purchasing of
paddy crop on MSP of Rs 1,000 per quintal by the state
agencies. More than 80 percent of the farmers are forced to
sell paddy at the rate ranging from Rs 750 to 800 per
quintal," Singh alleged.
He said that the UP government has introduced a system
of coupons to farmers for purchase of paddy from them and the
distribution of these coupons is "very discriminatory".
He charged the state government of being "in
connivance with the rice mill owners and traders" and that "it
has not notified centres for FCI to purchase paddy."