Chandigarh, Oct 7 (PTI) Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday blamed the BJP-JJP government for the 'problems' faced by farmers in the 'mandis' in the state during the current procurement season.
He said farmers have been coming to the mandis or grain markets with paddy and other crops for several weeks, but purchase is nothing compared to the arrival in the mandis.
'Farmers are being harassed in the name of registration on portal and gate passes. The government is refusing to buy the crop and citing moisture as an excuse. The farmers are not getting the MSP in whatever is being bought by the government procurement agencies.
'Left with no other option, farmers are selling their crops to private people at whatever prices they are getting. The private agencies are taking advantage of the helplessness of the farmers and looting them,' Hooda, who is Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, said in a statement here.
The former chief minister further said 'these are the same private agencies which were being projected by the government as messiahs who would solve all the problems of the farmers after the implementation of three new farm laws'.
'The government said these agencies will buy the crop at a higher rate than the MSP. But now it has become clear that private agencies are only engaged in looting the farmers because the government is not ready to buy farmers' crop on MSP,' he claimed.
Hooda said farmers were forced to sell their paddy at Rs 500 to Rs 1000 less than the minimum support price fixed per quintal while maize farmers are having to suffer a loss of Rs 1,200 per quintal and the condition is similar for millet and cotton farmers.
The Congress leader said that he interacted with many farmers who told him that three new farm legislations of the Centre 'have started to show effect'.
'Things will get worse in the coming days. Therefore, farmers and the Congress party are demanding these anti-farmer laws be revoked,' he said.
Hooda also defended the agitation of various farmer outfits in Sirsa against the farm laws and seeking resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala, whom they have accused of clinging to power and not caring about the image of his great grandfather late Devi Lal, former deputy prime minister, who was considered as messiah of the peasant community.
'In this hour of difficulty, it is the duty of all political parties to stand with the farmers. The JJP should therefore immediately withdraw support from the government that has betrayed the farmers. Now the time has come when all the MLAs will have to choose between power and the farmer. Those who have betrayed the farmer, will not stand with anyone,' Hooda said.
He said the Congress is engaged in fighting for farmers' cause in the entire country, including Punjab and Haryana, and will force the government to revoke the 'anti-farmer' legislations. PTI SUN CK