No sooner the Congress came to power in Rajasthan, than the gullible farmers of Rajasthan have come to realise their folly of voting the Congress back to power. In a series of ‘sops’, the Rajasthan farmers getting a taste of kind of medicine at the hands of the Congress who made unrealistic promises
Agnima Sharma from Jaipur
The return of Congress to political power in Rajasthan has rudely shaken the farmers out of their stupor and naïve optimism for prosperity in the farm loan waiver and other unviable freebies in the state of Rajasthan. The first body blow came down on the farmers in the form of a barrage of lathi charge. According to media reports, Rajasthan farmers who stood in long queues for buying urea under freezing temperature on chilly nights were lathi-charged by the police.
Police lathicharge farmers agitating over unavailability of fertilisers in Madhya Pradesh
The worst sufferers were farmers from Kota, Bundi, Baran and Jhalawad which comprise Hadauti region of the desert State. Unable to get their fertilisers on time to save their standing Rabi crops, they took to agitations, blocking state highways and resorting to desperate measures to attract the attention of authorities.
Eventually, the farmers' unrest and their disenchantment with the new dispensation is spreading across the State with more and more farmers venting their fury while the newly-formed government is at wit’s end to diffuse urea crisis from blowing over thanks to the gross mismanagement of urea supply.
Fresh reports of police and farmer clash have been coming in from different parts of the State. In Baran, the farmers have been allegedly lathicharged by the police when they were staging an agitation against the shortage of fertilisers in the State. Many of them were reportedly injured in the incident.
Such incidents have been reported not only in the Baran District but also in Ganganagar, Hanuman Nagar and Bikaner regions of Rajasthan. In Bhamashah Mandi of Kota, farmers in thousands stand in long queues and by the time their turn comes the urea gets exhausted. It’s only a few of them counting to around 100 out of thousands who get urea of their share annoying those farmers who fail to get anything even after spending hours in the queue.
On December 25, the farmers quite agitated with urea crisis jammed the State highway 70 here. Even the gates of the mandi were closed as a part of protest.
After Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh farmers’ facing Urea crisis
‘The State has received more than 4 lakh metric tonnes of urea by December 15, it should be distiributed among the farmers appropriately’
–Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Former CM Madhya Pradesh
Within days of the Congress Government taking charge, Madhya Pradesh is now facing severe outrage from the farmers in the State after the government created a crisis by mismanaging the supply of urea.
The newly elected State Government inability to distribute urea has a created a situation of shortage of urea during the crucial rabi season in Madhya Pradesh which is further delaying their agricultural activities.
Meanwhile, as the urea crisis looms large, large queues of farmers to get the fertiliser are being reported from the State.
Rahul Gandhi led Congress which came to power in the State promising several sops of loan waivers, high MSP to the farmers seems to have started on a very bad note. Meanwhile, two farmers have also lost their lives in the state of Madhya Pradesh after failing to repay the farm loans, as the Congress party brought in new conditions for waiving off loans contrary to Rahul Gandhi’s claim of unconditional loan waivers.
The other districts such as Bundi, Baran and Jhalawad are also witnessing the same story. According to concerned officials, the newly elected State Governments’ inability to distribute urea has created a situation of shortage of fertilisers during the crucial Rabi season in Rajasthan, which is delaying the agricultural activities of farmers thereby leaving them annoyed.
With inadequate availability of urea, there have been reports of people jumping queues to collect urea at a mandi. Hence, official orders have been issued to distribute urea under police protection. However, looking at long queues, the police officials often go missing from the scene leaving farmers to clash in the open. The situation is worse in Bundi where many farmers have reportedly been injured due to clashes erupted when they were standing in queues.
Lokesh Tiwari, an activist, says that farmers are least concerned of anything but to get their fertiliser on time. He has been staging the protest in front of Chambal Fertilisers and Chemical Limited in Gadepan area, demanding sufficient supply of urea to the farmers.
Another farmer Raju from Bundi says that it has become a daily routine when we come out and stand in the queue right from 4 am. Despite standing in long queues, there is no guarantee of getting the fertilisers of our share, he says.
In fact, Organiser team has found several reasons for this crisis-kind situation. The first one is uneven supply against the rising demand. Many people in Hadauti region have switched to wheat farming as they incurred heavy losses last year from garlic farming. “As wheat needs more urea, the demand has increased, but the administration has failed to match the rising demand by supplying adequate quantity of urea”, says an official on condition of anonymity.
He further says that black marketing is yet another challenge in this perspective. The urea is being supplied to Madhya Pradesh via Kota, Baran and Jhalawad and no adequate action is being taken to stop the same. Farmers hence have urged the administration to ensure strong security on check posts to stop such black-marketing.
The farmers have also staged the protest in front of the biggest urea plant of the State which is Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Pvt Ltd as it has failed to supply adequate urea to farmers.
BJP state spokesperson Laxmikant Bharadwaj says that Congress came to power by bringing farmers in the main picture and now the same party is least bothered by farmers’ plight who are standing in the open amid chilling weathers. Their crops are getting damaged due to urea crisis, and the party is busy in infighting. As the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot are busy attending meetings in Delhi being unable to decide on its cabinet portfolios, the police here is lathicharging on innocent farmers which is unacceptable. Central Government supplied adequate quantity of urea to Rajasthan, however, due to leadership issues in the State, the Rajasthan Government failed in its distribution system, and the urea went into the hands of those engaged in black-marketing. He urged cm and deputy cm to be back in Rajasthan to take stock of the situation, he adds.
It needs to be furnished here that even after several days of oath-taking in the State, the Congress has failed to decide on its cabinet portfolio. Hence, Gehlot and Pilot are both shuttling between Delhi and Jaipur to decide on their team of ministers. In the absence of any authority to take suitable action, farmers are the worst sufferers, says a senior official on conditions of anonymity.