Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Monday joined Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi to attack the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh over rising sugarcane arrears to farmers and asked why it cannot act tough against the erring sugar mill owners. "How can the UP sugarcane farmers be happy and prosperous when their arrears amount to Rs. 10 thousand crores? This is a matter to ponder on. Anti-farmers and pro-capitalist BJP government need not make wrong claims. Why is BJP not acting tough against the mill owners like the BSP government and getting all the arrears of the farmers cleared?" Mayawati tweeted.
On Sunday, Congress general secretary UP-East Priyanka Gandhi had also attacked the BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ignoring the poor as dues to sugarcane farmers in the state crossed Rs 10,000 crore.
“The families of sugarcane farmers work hard day and night. But the UP government does not take responsibility for their payments. Dues of Rs 10,000 crore to farmers mean the education, food, health of their children as well as the next crop is compromised. This chowkidar only serves the riches and doesn’t care about the poor,” Priyanka tweeted.
As per the data collected by the Cane Commissioner’s Office in Lucknow, the sugar mills in the state have bought sugarcane worth Rs 24,888.65 crore in the 2018-19 season. They were supposed to pay Rs 22,175.21 within the 14-day period of taking delivery of the cane.
However, they have only paid Rs 12,339.04 crore. The rest amount of Rs 9,836.17 crore and Rs 238.81 crore from the previous 2017-18 season take the total dues to Rs 10,074.98 crore.
The 45 per cent of the total due is from the mills in Meerut, Baghpat, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor and Saharanpur constituencies where Lok Sabha elections will be held on April 11. During the 2017 Assembly elections, the BJP had promised to sugarcane farmers that full payment for their crop will be made within 14 days of sale to the sugar mills.