Ghaziabad, Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait Thursday alleged large-scale irregularities in the procurement of crops in Uttar Pradesh on minimum support price (MSP) and demanded a CBI probe.
Tikait, the national spokesperson for the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), claimed multiple crops including wheat have been procured through middlemen instead of farmers, whose identifies have been forged in government records.
Citing what he claimed were examples of such alleged irregularities in Rampur district of UP, he claimed that mill owners, middlemen, administration officials and procurement centre operators are beneficiaries of the “scam”.
Speaking to the press at the Ghazipur border here, Tikait said he has evidence of the alleged irregularities and demanded a probe into his charges by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
“As per government records, only eight per cent farmers from across the country are getting benefit of MSP. Of this eight per cent, the identities of the 40 per cent farmers is forged,” Tikait claimed.
“In reality, not even eight per cent farmers in the country are getting MSP. The farmers are being looted by the government in the country in the name of MSP,” he said in a statement.
MSP has officially been announced for 23 crops but is given only on two or three and that too even in all states, he said, adding, paddy is sold at lower than minimum official rates in Bihar and southern states.
“In Uttar Pradesh, wheat and paddy are procured through a nexus in an organised manner. The government”s claim of procurement of crops from farmers at MSP is nothing more than a gimmick. Wheat has not been procured from farmers in UP,” Tikait alleged.
He said in terms of wheat procurement, a large state like UP stood at fourth position in the country, even behind Haryana and Punjab.
“The UP government, as part of its statistical jugglery, has now even ended the official figures of targeted procurement of wheat. The BKU demands a CBI probe into the wheat trade in Rabi season 2021-22. The CBI probe is must to end this organised nexus in UP, he added. ”
The BKU, an influential farmers” body headquartered in western UP”s Muzaffarnagar, is part of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), an umbrella body of peasants” unions protesting against the Centre at Delhi borders since November 2020 over the contentious new farm laws.
The protestors are demanding a complete rollback of the three contentious laws they claim are against farmers and seeking a new legislation that guarantees the MSP.
However, the Centre, which has held 11 rounds of formal talks with the protestors, maintains the laws are pro-farmer. PTI