The Gujarat Police on Thursday detained Congress legislator Alpesh Thakor and his supporters as they staged a protest demanding waiver of farm loans and better water supply for farmers of his constituency, Radhanpur, in Patan district, PTI reported.
“We detained Thakor and 93 others, including his supporters, for holding a protest on Radhanpur highway,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police RP Zala, adding that they were all released later.
Before being detained, Thakor spoke at a rally in Radhanpur town where he gave the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government one week’s time to declare his constituency scarcity-hit. The Radhanpur Assembly constituency comprises three taluks – Radhanpur, Santalpur and Sami. He accused the BJP government of ignoring the plight of farmers in his constituency, claiming that most parts of Patan had received scanty rainfall during the monsoon.
“If these three tehsils are not declared as scarcity-hit in one week, farmers along with their kids and cattle will march towards Gandhinagar,” Thakor said. “I also demand waiver of farm loans, as the crops have failed due to scanty rains this season.”
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that at least 16 taluks in the state have been declared scarcity-hit and the process of obtaining data from other areas was under way.
Revenue Minister Kaushik Patel announced that Rupani had asked the administration to conduct a survey to find out the taluks where farmers need drinking water and fodder for cattle. “In one or two days we will prepare the list,” said Patel.
In September, the Gujarat government declared 16 taluks in Kutch, Banaskantha, Patan and Ahmedabad districts as scarcity hit due to deficient rainfall.
This monsoon, Gujarat has received 76.61% of the average rainfall. The deficiency is highest in Kutch district that got only 26.51% of annual average rainfall.