Farmers in India Dying after Cultivating Wheat & Rice: Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that farmers in India are in a ‘bad condition’, they are ‘dying’ after growing rice and wheat. Rice, wheat, sugar and pulses are in surplus and hence they are not getting the right price for farmers. Gadkari said this while speaking on the condition of the farmers in the country, while supporting a shift to agriculture product-based biofuels in India.

While signing a MoU between Indian Highways Management Company Limited and oil marketing companies on 7th January, with Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Gadkari said, “Pehla priority tribal aur agriculture ko do kyunki ab chawal aur gehun paida karke mar gaye”.

He told the Petroleum Minister that biofuels derived out of farm products should be given large-scale encouragement for the sake of tribals and farmers.

Farmers have been on a mass protest in several parts of the country over prices and other farm-related issues, including in Maharashtra recently. The Opposition party, Congress and other parties have been emphasizing ‘farm distress or farmers distress’ and ‘low MSP’ hitting at the BJP government. The BJD will hold a “sit-in dharna” in Delhi on Tuesday, demanding an increase in MSP of paddy.

The minister added that the problem was linked with surplus yield. He also praised PM Modi and said that the PM was doing well to deal with this problem. He said “Prime Minister Modi has done so well and the government is trying to give the farmers better price”.

He further told that farmers in Maharashtra threw onion produce after its prices dropped to 50 paise per kg for farmers.

According to BJP sources, Gadkari’s comment on farm distress has come at a time when the minister ended up mortifying the party by commending Indira Gandhi for her ‘mettle’. Gadkari also incited controversy last month when he said that the party leadership should take responsibility for defeat in the polls, following BJP’s reverses in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh. In this regard, Sanjay Raut of BJP supporter Shiv Sena said that Gadkari was ‘waiting for a fractured mandate’ in 2019.

Gadkari last month ‘tweeted’ saying that his remarks were ‘twisted out of context’ and that it was part of a plot to ‘drive a wedge between him and the party leadership’.

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