Rakesh Tikait: Centre must bring MSP guarantee law to support farmers

Bhubaneswar: Demanding an increase in market prices of agricultural crops across the country, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) President Rakesh Tikait wanted the Government of India to formulate the MSP guarantee law for the benefit of farmers at the earliest.

Participating in ‘Newsmaker-2021’ discussion organized by Kanak News, Odisha’s one of leading channels, in Bhubaneswar, Tikait said no crops should be sold at the price below than the minimum support price (MSP) in the country. The Government of India must bring an MSP guarantee law to ensure the same.

Fish farming should also come under the purview of the MSP law. The MSP must be guaranteed to farmers in maize, sugarcane, paddy and wheat crops.

Farmers only market rates of their agricultural produce with 1967 as base year, he said, adding the next farmer protest could be for formulation of the MSP guarantee law.

Hitting out at the Centre, Tikait asked why there is no separate ministry to look into agriculture and issues of farmers in India. Instead of a single ministry, as many as 18 ministries have been tasked to oversee the agriculture sector, he added.

The farmer leader further said if the MSP guarantee law comes into force, farmers from Odisha will also be benefitted in a larger scale provided the law is implemented by the State government in letter and spirit.

Accusing the Government of India not supporting the farmers, Tikait said the Centre is trying to take away their land. The country is being run by big companies and corporate houses instead of people’s representatives, he added.

Asked on his political ambition, Tikait said, “Neither I am interested to join politics nor the BKU is going to become a political outfit or party.”

He suggested the Centre to bring reforms in the country through infra development, better healthcare and education.

Among others, Sambad Group Chairman Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Digambar Behera from Fortis Hospital, Dilip Mishra from Apollo Chennai and other distinguished personalities were present during the programme.

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