Bihar farmers force change of Modi’s function venue

Patna, March 4 (IANS) Around three dozen farmers who refused to reap their standing wheat crops before ripening to make space available for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s function in Vaishali district of Bihar on March 12 forced authorities to change the venue, officials said on Friday.

“Faced with protest by dozens of farmers, who have refused to reap their standing crops, the function venue has been shifted,” a district official said.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bihar unit president Mangal Pandey confirmed to the media here that the venue has been changed.

Farmers of Sultanpur near Hajipur, the district headquarters of Vaishali and about 30 km from Patna, had protested against the attempts by local authorities to hustle them into cutting their unripened crops for Modi’s function.

“These farmers protested that they had not yet been paid compensation for their crops harvested in 2014 and 2015 to make space available for Modi’s election campaign rally. They refused to harvest their crops this time and threatened to protest if forced to do so,” officials said.

According to officials, the farmers made it clear that they would not go for early harvest since it would fetch low prices in the market. “Farmers also rejected the offer of adequate compensation.”

The land on which Modi’s function was proposed to be held belongs to nearly 40 farmers.

A team of local officials, during their visit to the area three days ago, said the farmers should cooperate for the prime minister’s function. But the farmers said they would harvest only the fully ripened crops by March-end.

Modi will visit Bihar on March 12 also to attend the closing ceremony of the Patna High Court centenary function.

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