The Leader of the Opposition and former Haryana Chief Minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on Saturday accused the State government of tardy lifting of wheat from market yards and sought immediate payment of pending dues to farmers.

“I urge the government to show a sense of urgency in lifting crops from market yards and making payments to the farmers. As of now, payment for 75,000 tonnes of mustard has not been made and ₹2,200 crore is still to be paid for wheat purchase. Besides, about 17 lakh tonnes of wheat has not been lifted from the markets,” alleged Mr. Hooda.

He also alleged irregularities in the purchase of mustard. “The government should ensure that purchases are not made on paper and that every single grain of the farmer is purchased by the government.”

The former Chief Minister said the government was closing the purchase process of wheat and other crops three weeks ahead of schedule, which was not acceptable amid the COVID-19 outbreak as it would add to the farmers’ woes. “The government should continue to purchase wheat, mustard, gram and cotton as not all farmers have been able to sell their produce,” said Mr. Hooda.

‘MSP not fair’

Mr. Hooda added that the recently announced minimum support price for various kharif crops by the Centre has left the farmers deeply disappointed as they were expecting a “fair and just increase” that would help them tide over the ongoing crisis.

He also accused the BJP-JJP government being adamant on banning paddy cultivation in parts of the State, despite protests from farmers and Opposition parties.

“The government is indirectly killing paddy farmers though its new ‘rice shoot policy’. It seems that the government wants to leave farmers with no other alternative but to irrigate their crops using tubewells, which will result in exploiting more groundwater, something the government ironically seeks to protect,” he said.

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