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Varun Gandhi demands compensation for farmers

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BJP leader and Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday demanding he pay compensation of ₹1 crore to the families of about 700 farmers who died during the protests. He said the decision to repeal the three farm laws should have been announced earlier and urged the Prime Minister to take steps to legalise Minimum Support Price.

Unrest within BJP

The letter by Gandhi — who has differed from the party line on the farmer protests — indicates unrest within the BJP. Gandhi was reportedly in touch with the Trinamool Congress.

Gandhi thanked Modi for his “large-heartedness” in announcing that these three laws will be repealed.

Also see: Tears of joy, colour, festive spirit at protest sites

“More than 700 of our farmer brothers and sisters have been martyred in this movement, as they peacefully protested in extremely difficult and hostile conditions. I believe that if this decision had been taken earlier, all these innocent lives would not have been lost. It is my humble request to you that while expressing condolences to the families of our farmer brothers and sisters who were martyred in the movement, a compensation of ₹ 1 crore each be announced for them. Furthermore, all politically motivated false FIRs that have been registered as weapons of harassment against our farmers during this movement must immediately be quashed,” he added.

MSP and economic security

Gandhi said 85 percent of the farmers in the country are small and marginal farmers.

“For the empowerment of these farmers, we have to ensure that they get remunerative prices for their crops. This movement will not end without the resolution of this demand and there will be widespread anger among them which will continue to emerge in one form or the other. Therefore, it is very important for farmers to get the statutory guarantee of MSP for their crops. The MSP should also be based on the C2+50 per cent formula of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. In this regard, my humble request to you is that the government must immediately accept this demand in the interests of our nation. This will give a sizeable economic security cover to our farmers and there will be a vast improvement in their condition,” he added in the letter.

Lakhimpur Kheri deaths

Gandhi reminded the PM that many leaders sitting in senior positions have given provocative statements against agitating farmers.

“It is the result of such statements and the adversarial atmosphere created around the movement that on October 3, five of our farmer brothers were crushed to death by vehicles in Lakhimpur Kheri. This heartbreaking incident is a blemish on our democracy. It is my request to you that appropriately strict action is taken against the Union Minister who has been connected to this incident so that there is a fair enquiry,” he added.

Also see: Farm Laws: A climbdown and the trigger effect

Gandhi said democracy runs on constitutionality, discourse and empathy.

“The farmers expect you to solve their problems in a sensitive and timely manner. I believe that by accepting the demands of the farmers according to the democratic and constitutional values of our nation, your respect shall further increase in the country. I hope you will take a concrete decision in this matter soon,” the one-page letter added.



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