Oppn claims govt-sugar mill owners nexus, walks out of legislative council

The Opposition BSP and BJP members Tuesday walked out from the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council over cane price issue and harassment of BJP MLAs, respectively.

While the BSP and others criticised the government for doling out packages to sugar mill owners, BJP took on the state for the wrongful arrest and harassment of its MLAs in the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The BSP, Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) members raised the issue of sugarcane farmers through an adjournment notice.

Leader of Opposition Naseemuddin Siddiqui alleged that the state government has struck a deal with the mill owners. "The government is favouring private sugar mill owners. Farmers will get only Rs 246 per quintal for their produce," Siddiqui said, adding several farmers have sought permission from the President to kill themselves and some have already committed suicide.

Congress' Naseeb Pathan said not getting reasonable price for sugarcane, farmers were setting their produce on fire.

RLD leader Chaudhary Mushtaq said that sugar mills were yet to clear Rs 2,356 crore in dues to the farmers. BJP leader Vinod Pandey said that delay in crushing has affected the sowing of the next crop.

Leader of the House Ahmed Hasan said the government and cooperative mills had cleared their dues and only "private sugar mills need to pay 2,300 crore".

He said of the 123 mills, 100 have started crushing and the rest would start in 15 days. He alleged that Rs 5,700 crore dues were pending from the previous BSP regime and clarified that the farmers who committed suicide did not have any pending dues.

Dissatisfied with the reply, BSP, BJP and Congress members walked out of the House raising slogans.

BJP members also raised the issue of its two MLAs Sangeet Som and Suresh Rana being arrested in false cases connected to the Muzaffarnagar riots "to secure votes of a particular community."

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