Varun alleges corruption at farm produce procurement centres in UP
BJP parliamentarian Varun Gandhi on Friday said farmers would continue to be exploited as long as there is no legal guarantee on minimum support price, and alleged corruption at farm produce procurement centres in Uttar Pradesh.
Varun, who has been vocal in his support for the farmers’ movement, tweeted in Hindi: “Till there is statutory guarantee of MSP, farmers will continue to be exploited in mandis. Strict action should be taken on this.”
One of the main demands of the farmers protesting for 11 months against the Modi government is a legally guaranteed minimum support price for their produce.
Varun uploaded on Twitter a video of his visit to a government procurement centre in his constituency, Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, in which the MP is seen raising “corruption” in procurement of farmers’ produce with a government official and threatening to move court.
“If there is corruption and cruelty against farmers here, I will not plead with the government to take action. I will take the accused straight to court and make sure he is arrested,” Varun is heard telling the official as the farmers gathered around him clap and cheer.
Varun told The Telegraph on Friday: “At every procurement centre in the state, there is crippling corruption, which is completely out in the open. Farmers’ grains are forcibly rejected, after which out of desperation they sell to middlemen.”
He iterated his demand for a legally guaranteed MSP.
“With the farmers already facing steep input costs, lack of fertilisers and inclement weather, to saddle him with a system that ensures he sells at a loss is going to drive the next generation away from agriculture and threaten both our food and national security,” he said.
Varun alleged that the administration in Uttar Pradesh takes “a cut from farmers for procurement of their crops”.
BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh is scheduled to go to the polls early next year and Varun’s public allegations of corruption are sure to cause unease and anger in the party.
Varun had taken a strong stand against the massacre of four farmers under the wheels of a car owned by Union minister of state for home Ajay Mishra Teni on October 3.
Varun had warned that “protesters cannot be silenced through murder” and demanded “accountability for the innocent blood of farmers”.
Varun’s allegations of corruption at procurement centres seek to take the wind out of the Modi government’s repeated claim that it has been giving high MSPs to farmers.
Last week, Varun had tweeted a video of a farmer in Uttar Pradesh burning his paddy after failing to get a remunerative price.