Potatoes on streets in protest on Yogi turf

Factors Beyond Mere Bhagya

Residents of Lucknow woke up to a surprise on Saturday morning when they saw hundreds of tones of potatoes littered on Vidhan Sabha Marg outside the Uttar Pradesh Assembly building and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence.

Potato farmers in Uttar Pradesh have been protesting against the low prices of their produce by dumping potatoes in the open across the potato belt, which comprises districts such as Agra, Mathura, Aligarh, Etawah, Kannauj, Mainpuri, Hathras and Farrukhabad.

Adityanath government had fixed Rs 487 per quintal of potatoes, but farmers demanded Rs 10 a kg, that amounts to Rs 1,000 a quintal.

The CM assured of looking into the matter by forming a group of ministers.

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Farmers, however, said they have not done anything wrong as this was a symbolic protest against the government and its policies. After the saffron party came to power in the state a year ago, a number of buildings have been pained in the signature colour of the party including the Chief Minister's office. "The State government even opposed the triple talaq bill". It's an organized conspiracy to malign the Yogi Adityanath government.

Potatoes have also been thrown in front of the Governor Hose while the state police remained unaware of the activity. "What else do we do when our pleas are falling on deaf ears", a farmer told IANS.

News18 quoted a farmer leader, Harnam Singh as saying: "The government might have announced a basic MSP but the procurement is next to nil".

Farmers alleged that cold storage owners take high prices from them which they are not able to pay, according to sources. "In such a situation, farmers were forced to dump their produce on the streets", said Verma.

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