Khargone (Madhya Pradesh): The cotton auction at Khargone Mandi, the largest cotton market in the state, came to an abrupt halt as protest erupted over a sudden drop in purchase price on Thursday.
Farmers, under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), vehemently opposed the decision by the Indian Cotton Corporation (CCI) to slash the purchase price by Rs 200 per quintal. The farmers demanded the reinstatement of the previous purchase price of Rs 6,920 per quintal.
Over 500 farmers, along with BKU leaders including state vice-president Dinesh Patidar, divisional president Shyam Singh Pawar, and Mukesh Patel reached and met Mandi secretary Laxman Singh Tomar and CCI officer Shivnandan Baghel leading to the suspension of the auction.
Farmer union officials promptly urged the collector to maintain the old purchase price. In response, SDM Bhaskar Gachle, deputy collector PS Agase, tehsildar, and Kotwali police force rushed to the Mandi.
The farmer representatives allege purchases are being conducted arbitrarily, with high-quality old cotton being purchased at lower prices. This is blatant exploitation of farmers and cultivators, they said.
It is noteworthy that approximately 10,000 quintals of cotton, valued at Rs 6.5 crore and transported in 600 vehicles, were currently awaiting auction in the market.