Former UP bureaucrats come in farmers’ support

The ongoing farmers’ agitation against farm laws is now getting support from an unexpected quarter. Former IAS and IPS officers in Uttar Pradesh have started supporting the farmers’ demands.

A former Uttar Pradesh IAS officer, Vijay Shankar Pandey, known as a crusader against corruption, and former additional director general of police S.N. Singh, in a joint statement, have announced their support to the agitating farmers.

They have called upon farmers to continue with their stir for the repeal of the Centre’s three new farm laws.

Vijay Shankar Pandey said that he, along with his group comprising several former government officials, fully support the farmers’ demand for a law that guarantees minimum support price (MSP).

He confirmed that S.N. Singh was a signatory to the joint statement.

Pandey said he has been expressing his concerns through the media over the stubborn attitude of the Union government in finding an unanimously acceptable solution to the farmers’ issues.

“The Narendra Modi government should make a fair introspection of its mistakes without any further delay and listen to the protesting farmers in an unbiased manner. The government should take prompt corrective measures, as the issues affect 70 per cent of the country’s population which is engaged in agriculture. After all, the growth of this largest segment of population will ultimately reflect in the overall national prosperity and increase in GDP (gross domestic product),” he said.

Pandey said his group has also decided to support the Uttar Pradesh Kisan Mazdoor Morcha, consisting of 22 farmer unions in the state and agitating at the village level for the repeal of the three farm laws and for passing a legislation that guarantees MSP.

“Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced on various platforms, including in Parliament, about the continuation of MSP, we are of the firm opinion that the farmers’ agitation should also continue till the procurement of the forthcoming wheat crop is ensured at full MSP across the country,” he said.

He further said that former civil servants and other prominent persons would now be deputed as observers for the cluster of districts to boost the morale of the protesting farmers and to ensure that farmers are not harassed by the government agencies.

“These functionaries will also interact with the respective district magistrates and other officials concerned to ensure that middlemen are eliminated from the procurement chain and that farmers get full MSP,” he said.