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Vidarbha farmers to decide Sunday whom to support

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Yavatmal (Maharashtra), Oct 3 (IANS) Exasperated farmers in the Vidarbha region will decide on Sunday whether to support the BJP in the Oct 15 Maharashtra assembly election, an activist said here on Friday.

"The high hopes and tall promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP leaders to over 10 million farmers are now completely forgotten. The attitude of the NDA government and power-hungry state leaders has increased despair and gloom among the farmers," Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief Kishore Tiwari, told IANS.

Over 10,000 farmers, widows and orphans will converge in Pandharkawada (Yavatmal) Sunday to decide whom to vote for since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has backtracked on all its assurances, he alleged.

"This year monsoon was delayed by two months. Since Sep 15, there was a hot and dry spell…Hence, raising minimum support prices of cotton, soyabean and paddy coupled with complete farm loan waiver is critical for farmers’ survival," Tiwari said.

He said that the central government has assured all help to the farmers to enable them to overcome the precarious situation due to natural calamities in the past two years.

"But farmers’ suicides continue and the agrarian economic crisis is worsening…The NDA government is neglecting the farmers like the previous UPA regime…The farmers supported the NDA hoping for some respite, but its assurances were a hoax," Tiwari said.

The Vidarbha farmers’ meeting is scheduled a day after Modi launches his election campaign with a series of public meetings starting on Saturday.

NGO VJAS has been documenting farmers’ suicides and the agrarian crises in the state since the past couple of decades, besides organising farmers’ debates and rallies to highlight their plight.

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