Forget FDI, try Amul model to empower farmers, says V K Singh

VK Singh
Former Army chief V K Singh today left open the question of his taking a plunge in politics or contesting elections in the future.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a farmers' agitation here, he opposed FDI in multi-brand retail, contending that it will in no way help farmers.

"I don't know," was all Singh said when asked whether he was open to the idea of joining politics.

On media reports that he would contest the 2014 elections from Haryana, he said, "This is all what you (media) people have written. I have nothing to say."

On FDI, he maintained even when Pepsico came into India, it was said that it would help farmers but that was never the case.

"In India, we have an excellent model in terms of Amul to empower farmers. We can bring about the same change what people are trying to bring through FDI by making suitable modifications to the Amul model," he said.

Singh said farmers would not be benefited because the multi-brand retailers will import cheap items from other countries and not procure them from within India.

On whether he would be part of Anna Hazare's core group, he said it was not necessary to be in a core group when one fights for a cause.

"My aim is to reclaim India and I will be working with people who have same thinking," he said.

V K Singh asks PM to dump report on freeing sugar

Joining a 'Parliament Gherao' agitation by sugarcane farmers, former army chief Gen V K Singh today asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reject the Rangarajan Committee report on freeing sugar.

"No politician has worked for farmers. They get votes from you people by promising many things, but they forget that there is a community called farmers after the elections. Next time when you go to the polling booth, think who will fight for you and then vote only for that person," Gen Singh, who fought a bitter battle with Government on his age issue, said.

However, the former army chief said he was not supporting any particular party but was only asking farmers to keep their "betterment in mind" before pressing the EVM button.

The protesters gathered near the Parliament Street police station, less than a kilometre from Parliament House, and raised slogans demanding that the report be rejected.

Singh favoured the proposal floated by Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan's V M Singh that there was a need to raise a 'Kisan Sena' in the country that would fight for farmers' rights.

He also asked farmers to come on one platform, transcending religion, caste and community in order to reclaim their legitimate rights.

Dubbing as "anti-farmer" the Rangarajan Committee report that has recommended phased decontrol of the highly regulated Rs 80,000-crore sugar industry, he said the Prime Minister and Parliament should not accept the report.

"Everyone knows our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is a world renowned economist. He is a capable and competent person. We hope he will not accept the report and we appeal to him not to accept the report," he said while warning that a "big revolution" would take place if the Government accepts the report.

The report also suggests removal of levy obligation, a foolproof release mechanism and a uniform, revenue-linked sugarcane price.

Sharing the dais with INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, the retired General accused the Government of giving away subsidies meant for farmers to mill owners who sell those materials to farmers in black market.

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