New Delhi, August 20 (Agency)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari Monday attacked the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, saying its policy is to exploit farmers and increase prices of chemical fertilizers.
"It is the policy of the government to exploit farmers and increase the prices of fertilizers which benefit companies," Gadkari said at a protest rally against the government's "anti-farmer policies" at Jantar Mantar here.
He slammed the government for rising prices of fertilizer and diesel.
"Urea in our country is made of gas, and there is gas in the Krishna basin. I want to ask the prime minister why has the urea not been produced yet? Why did farmers not get urea at lower prices? I want to ask him what has he attempted for the production of chemical fertilizers," Gadkari said.
He added that there is no value for farmers' produce as wheat is cheap and biscuits (made from wheat) are high-priced.
"Last year, grain worth Rs.58,000 crore were pilfered. Because of the UPA, in the coming years grain worth Rs.85,000 crore will rot, as predicted by some members of the Planning Commission" he added.
"The government has not paid heed to the increase in the prices of fertilizers," Gadkari said.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj was also present at the rally.
"The government increases petrol prices by Rs.7 but when it comes to fertilizers, the price hike is of Rs.750. In India, agriculture is no longer a business of profit," said Swaraj.
"BJP-led governments in states are trying to make agriculture a lucrative business. We are fighting the central government for things that are not in our control," Swaraj added.