Bharatiya Janata Party MP Varun Gandhi on Saturday tweeted that India’s agriculture policy needed to be rethought, and shared a video of an Uttar Pradesh farmer setting fire to his paddy crop after allegedly failing to sell it
“Samodh Singh, a farmer of Uttar Pradesh, had been running around mandis for the last 15 days to sell his paddy crop,” he said. “When paddy did not sell, he, in frustration, set the crop on fire. Where has this system brought the farmers? The need of the hour is to rethink our agriculture policy.”
Gandhi has voiced support to farmers who have been protesting against the Centre’s three agricultural laws since last November.
On September 5, Gandhi had extended support to a farmers’ protest in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, saying that the demonstrators were “our own flesh and blood”.
“We need to start re-engaging with them in a respectful manner: understand their pain, their point of view and work with them in reaching common ground,” he had said on Twitter.
A week later, he wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath, urging him to increase the selling price of sugarcane and implement relief measures for farmers.
He had also strongly criticised the violence in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district where eight people, four of them farmers, were killed during a protest against the agriculture laws.
Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle that was part of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s convoy ran over the protestors. They have claimed that the vehicle belonged to the minister’s son Ashish Mishra.
Gandhi had posted a video on Twitter showing a vehicle running over a group of unarmed protestors in Lakhimpur Kheri.
He had said that that protestors “cannot be silenced through murder” and said that justice must be delivered “before a message of arrogance and cruelty enters the minds of every farmer”.
Gandhi was subsequently dropped from the BJP’s national executive committee on October 7. The national executive comprises the party’s senior leaders who discuss key matters related to the government and shape the organisation’s agenda.