Rajkot | The Congress in Gujarat today accused the BJP-led governments in the state as well as at the Centre of ignoring farmers and came out with a charter of 16- point demands for cultivators, including complete loan waiver.
Workers, MLAs and leaders of the opposition party staged a ‘dharna’ in the Trikon Baug area here and threw groundnuts on the road as part of a protest organised to raise farmer-related issues.
The protest was led by the Congress’ farmers cell president and MLA from Visavadar Harshad Ribadiya, Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani and former GPCC chief Arjun Modhwadia. The party’s MLAs from Saurashtra and farmers also took part in the stir.
The party has come out with a memorandum, addressed to the Governor of Gujarat, in which it has listed 16 demands.
“The governments at the Centre as well in the state do not pay any attention to problems being faced by farmers, resulting in the farmers of Gujarat becoming poor day by day,” the memorandum said.
The party said the Gujarat government should look into the demands raised by it.
The demands include total farm loan waiver, providing MSP (minimum support price) for various agriculture produce, releasing crop insurance for affected farmers, making available fertilizers at affordable rate and exemption from GST for machines used in drip irrigation.
Others include tax relief in fuel (diesel) used for agriculture purposes, not acquiring land without farmers’ consent and giving electricity to peasants at a fixed rate.
Modhwadia said both the governments (Central and state) have no concern for farmers.
“Therefore, we have to come out on the roads for the welfare of the farmers of Gujarat,” he said.
Congress MLAs Mohammad Javed Pirzada from Wankaner and Vikram Madam from Jam Khambhaliya, who are said to be miffed with the party leadership over various issues, also took part in the protest.