Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday said that the farmers’ 10-day strike, which was launched across eight states on Friday, was without a purpose or topic, ANI reported.
“The strike doesn’t have any purpose or topic,” the chief minister said, adding that the protest was unnecessary. He said the organisers of the strike were harming farmers who will not be able to sell their produce. “Not selling produce will only bring losses to the farmers.”
Madhya Pradesh Minister for Agriculture Balkrishna Patidar too dismissed the farmers’ strike, saying “It’s [June 2] today, where is the strike happening?” according to ANI. He said farmers were happy with the schemes launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Union Minister of Shipping and Road Transport Nitin Gadkari blamed the surplus production and global economy for the agrarian crisis in the country, reported PTI. “The government is working on a war footing by formulating mid- and long-term policies as well as exporting excess produce,” he added.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said that some organisations were using the strike to gather fame, reported ANI.
Meanwhile, prices of vegetables in cities in Punjab and Haryana soared as supplies dwindled in vegetable markets. The retail price of vegetables went up by Rs 10 to Rs 20 per kg as the strike entered the second day, reported The Indian Express.
In Maharashtra’s Nashik district, all milk dairies remained closed and collection centres for milk were affected. Farmers reportedly poured milk on the roads at Visapur in Yeola taluk on Saturday morning, according to The Indian Express.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, however, termed the strike as a sign of the farmers’ desperation “in the face of the wrongs being perpetrated on them by the central government”, reported PTI. He said the farming community in the country was in the grip of a serious crisis due to the indifferent attitude of the BJP-led central government.
Farmers across the country started a 10-day strike on Friday to demand better prices for their produce. They also called for a boycott of mandis in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The strike is being held a year after farmer protests were held across the country. On June 6 last year, six farmers died during police firing in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur.
The strike is effective in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Chhattisgarh.