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Farmers can topple Modi government in 2019 polls if MSP promise not kept, says BKU

The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) today threatened that farmers can topple the BJPin the 2019 general elections if the promise of the minimum support price (MSP) at 50 per cent of the cost is not announced. It has also called for a ‘farmers mahapanchayat’ on March 13 along with other farmers’ body under the banner of Indian Cooperation Committee of Movement (ICCM) to discuss about the MSP, among other demands. “Farmers’ situation has not been this bad ever in the country. BJP in its poll manifesto had promised the MSP at 50 per cent of the cost of production (C2+50). In the Budget 2018, the FM gave a formula of A2+FL, which we will not accept,” BKU General Secretary Chaudhary Yudhvir Singh said.

The A2+FL formula does not consider land and other costs. Therefore, the government should take into account the C2+50 formula, while fixing the MSP, he said, and urged the government not to dilute the poll promise. Singh also alleged that the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), a government body that recommends MSP, has not been doing a fair job while calculating the cost and fixing the MSP.

“The CACP should be wound up and the cost of production recommended by the agri varsities should be accepted,” he said. Expressing concern over growing rural distress and worsening of farmers’ situation, BKU spokesperson Choundhary Rakesh Tikait said: “If MSP is not fixed based on the C2+50 formula, the government will get to see the angst of farmers in the 2019 polls. If farmers can help form the government, they can also topple it”.

Among other demands, the BKU said that the government should fix the MSP to all crops not just 24, ban genetically modified crops and waive off farmers debts. It also demanded increasing the credit limit on Kisan Credit Cards from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, provision of long term interest free loans for agriculture, fix guarantee minimum income for farmers, among others.

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