As the ongoing farmers’ protests across eight states hit its third day, prices of vegetables got high in many cities with some of the organisers threatening to intensify the agitation from June 5.
Supplies of vegetables, fruits, milk and other items have been stopped in various cities by the protesting farmers as they chose to throw away their produce on highways and roads as a mark of protest.
While the impact of farmers’ stir on price of farm commodities was not visible till Friday, the retail prices shot up in the range of Rs 10-20 per kg on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday mocked the ongoing farmers’s protest by calling it ‘issue-less’.
"Kisan hartal (farmers' strike) doesn't have any purpose or topic. This protest is unnecessary," Khattar said.
"By saying they won't sell farmers' produce they'll only cause losses to the farmers," the Haryana chief minister added, according to a leading press agency.
The ongoing strike is effective in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Chhattisgarh.
Social activist Medha Patkar reached Sehore to show her support to the upset farmers. ADM GP Mali and SDM Mukul Gupta also visited the Bhopal vegetable corner after observing a very low turnout of farmers compared to other days.
Country’s capital New Delhi may face problems in supply of fresh vegetables, fruits and other items in next week in case the farmers' agitation in neighbouring states intensifies in the coming days.
The retail prices of vegetables in city's different areas were reportedly up by 20-50 per cent, due to the farmers' strike.
As per traders in Chandigarh, the price of tomatoes soared to Rs 20-25 per kg against Rs 10-15 per kg prevailing two days ago. Similarly, retail prices of potatoes, capsicum, bottle gourd, cucumber, have also gone up on short supplies, said a PTI report.
"Farmers across the state are holding protests but the government seems to have a negative approach over keeping the promises it had made to farmers last month," AIKS general secretary Ajit Navle told reporters.
Madhya Pradesh minister for agriculture, Balakrishna Patidar on Saturday said that none of the farmers are participating in the strike and that they are happy with the schemes offered by the chief minister.
"It’s June 2 today, where is the strike happening? No farmers are participating in the strike. Farmers are happy with the schemes the chief minister has launched for them. They have faith that the state and central government will solve their problems," he said.
The farmers have stopped the supplies instead of blocking roads. One-time loan waiver, higher minimum support prices and higher prices for their produce are among the major demands by the protesting farmers across eight states.