Lakhimpur(UP): BJP MP Varun Gandhi today raised the issue of pending sugarcane arrears of farmers in Uttar Pradesh and said dues running into crores of rupees were pending but no action was being taken against the mill owners. The Sultanpur MP today met kin of four Kheri farmers, who had reportedly committed suicide due to crop losses. Gandhi handed over relief cheques of rupees one lakh each from his salary to the widows of farmers in Bela Kalan, Lalpur, Oel and Dhakhwa villages.
He also held brief meetings with farmers and listened to their grievances. Denying politics behind his pro-farmers act, Gandhi said that he had “taken up the mission to aid and assist aggrieved farmers in UP as his social responsibility and to sense any politics into this was not justified.” Raising the issue of sugarcane dues of farmers in his meetings, Gandhi said,”A farmer having loans of even Rs 50,000 has to face legal proceedings including confiscation of his properties, but sugarcane dues of farmers worth rupees several crores are pending with sugar mills in UP yet the mill authorities were scot-free with no action against them.”
Describing the farmers as the backbone of the country, the BJP leader said it was the duty of all including MPs and MLAs to come forward to their rescue. “In Sultanpur, Meerut, Bijnor, Muzaffarnagar and in Kheri, I have helped the widows of deceased farmers by giving them monetary relief from my salaries and this will continue,” he said. In his address, the BJP MP avoided any political statement and focused on only farmers issues, however, district party office bearers were missing in his meetings. Gandhi downplayed the entire issue and said that it was his own initiative in individual capacity.