The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) has threatened to block roads in protest of the ‘dictatorial attitude’ of the government during the global investor summit which is to kick off in Lucknow on February 10.
The BKU has listed a number of grievances against the government. The first is that the government had promised to double farmers’ income. However, to date, it had not given out any data on increase, if any, in farmers' income or whether many farmers had given up agriculture because of mounting losses. The other issue is the non-payment of dues of sugarcane farmers and no announcement of sugarcane prices for the current season.
The union is also agitated over the fact that the produce of farmers was not being purchased at the Minimum Support Price despite the guarantee given by the government during the farmers' agitation against now repealed three farm laws.
“The government has constantly misled the farmers. After saying that it would provide free electricity to farmers, as was being done in Punjab and Haryana, nothing had been done. Instead in UP, the government wants to put up electricity meters even on public tube wells. Police cases are also being filed against farmers at will,” said Alok Verma, the state spokesperson of the BKU.
The union is also protesting the government’s decision that tractors are not to be allowed to ply on roads and that if that happens, there will be road taxes levied on them.
“When farmers in this state are not getting their dues, what is the guarantee that their children will get appropriate wages when employed”, said Verma.
The union’s objection extends to the non-increase in the circle rate of land. “There is a large government conspiracy to acquire farming land for industries without paying farmers their dues”, he said.
Verma has also alleged that despite numerous letters handed over to concerned officers, no solutions had been forthcoming and that the officials did not even respond to phone calls.
The union has also alleged rampant corruption due to which farmers are in a ‘do or die’ state.
“It is the unanimous decision of farmers that we will block roads and draw attention to our problems during the investor's summit. The government is not willing to speak to us and we thoroughly condemn its undemocratic attitude”, said Verma.