New Delhi, Sep 12 (PTI) Days after suggesting the government should re-engage with protesting farmers, BJP MP Varun Gandhi on Sunday wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath proposing some relief for them, including hiking sugarcane prices, bonus on wheat and paddy, doubling the PM KISAN amount and subsidy on diesel.
Gandhi, a three-term MP from UP, said the requests made by him are "fiscally affordable and can be immediately actualised." Underlining that the last few years have been economically tumultuous for the farmers, he said as a public representative who has written on rural economics and worked with farmers for years, his requests would go a long way in normalising the government-farmer relation.
In a two page letter to Adityanath, the Pilibhit MP listed out all the problems and demands of the farmers and at the same time also suggested solutions for the same.
Tagging the letter on his Twitter handle, Gandhi said he has written to Adityanath indicating the problems of the farmers. "I hope issues of the sons of the soil will be heard," he tweeted in Hindi.
In the letter, Gandhi suggested increasing the sugarcane selling price to Rs 400 per quintal which is currently fixed at Rs 315 per quintal in UP.
Sugarcane is mainly grown in western UP, which is the epicentre of the farmers' protest in the state against the Centre's farm laws.
Farmers should be given an additional bonus of Rs 200 per quintal above the minimum support price (MSP) of wheat and paddy, Gandhi said in the letter.
He also demanded that the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme should be doubled to Rs 12,000 per annum for farmers with the state government contributing Rs 6,000 from its own funds.
The PM KISAN scheme is an initiative by the Centre through which all farmers get up to Rs 6,000 annually as minimum income support.
Sharing the farmers' concern of high prices of electricity and diesel, Gandhi in the letter requested the UP Chief Minister to give subsidy of Rs 20 per litre on diesel to farmers and reduce the power prices with immediate effect.
On September 5, when a large number of farmers gathered in Muzaffarnagar for a mahapanchayt organised by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha against the three farm laws, he had said the government should re-engage with them to reach a common ground as they are "our own flesh and blood." "Lakhs of farmers have gathered in protest today in Muzaffarnagar. They are our own flesh and blood. We need to start re-engaging with them in a respectful manner: understand their pain, their point of view and work with them in reaching common ground," Gandhi had tweeted by posting a video of the large crowd in attendance.
The mahapanchyat was held ahead of the crucial UP assembly polls early next year. The farmers have been protesting the three farm laws at the borders of the national capital for over nine months now.
Several rounds of discussions were also held between the representatives of protesting farmers' unions and Union ministers but talks have remained inconclusive.
The Centre has been insisting that the reforms have given farmers a new opportunity to sell their produce and rejected the criticism that the laws are aimed at doing away with the MSP regime and agricultural markets.