‘Dump freeing sugar report’

Joining a ‘Parliament Gherao’ agitation by sugarcane farmers, former Indian army chief Gen V K Singh on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reject the Rangarajan Committee report on freeing sugar.

‘No politician has worked for farmers. They get votes from you people by promising many things, but they forget that there is a community called farmers after the elections. Next time when you go to the polling booth, think who will fight for you and then vote only for that person,’ Gen Singh, who fought a bitter battle with Government on his age issue, said.

However, the former army chief said he was not supporting any particular party but was only asking farmers to keep their ‘betterment in mind’ before pressing the EVM button.

The protesters gathered near the Parliament Street police station, less than a kilometre from Parliament House, and raised slogans demanding that the report be rejected.

Singh favoured the proposal floated by Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan’s V M Singh that there was a need to raise a ‘Kisan Sena’ in the country that would fight for farmers’ rights.

He also asked farmers to come on one platform, transcending religion, caste and community in order to reclaim their legitimate rights.

Dubbing as ‘anti-farmer’ the Rangarajan Committee report that has recommended phased decontrol of the highly regulated Rs 80,000-crore sugar industry, he said the Prime Minister and Parliament should not accept the report.

‘Everyone knows our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a world renowned economist. He is a capable and competent person. We hope he will not accept the report and we appeal to him not to accept the report,’ he said while warning that a ‘big revolution’ would take place if the Government accepts the report.

The report also suggests removal of levy obligation, a foolproof release mechanism and a uniform, revenue-linked sugarcane price.

Sharing the dais with Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala, the retired General accused the Government of giving away subsidies meant for farmers to mill owners who sell those materials to farmers in black market.
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