Note ban may dent BJP's prospects

UP Assembly polls: Farmers who depend on cash crops hit hard

Note ban may dent BJP's prospects

Demonetisation has turned out to be one of the major issues in the Assembly elections in several districts of central Uttar Pradesh, where polling is scheduled for Wednesday.

This part of the state houses a large number of marginal farmers and small-scale local industries.

An interaction with farmers and owners of small industries in this region, including Shahjahanpur, Bareilly, and Lakhimpur-Kheri, gives the impression that besides the caste factor, the note ban issue will also affect voters’ preference in many of the 67 Assembly seats going to polls in the second phase.

“Farmers, especially the marginal farmers, who depend on cash crops like potato for their livelihood, suffered greatly owing to the note ban,” Bal Govind, a resident of Khutar town, told DH.

He said many small and marginal farmers left their crops to rot in the fields as the prices crashed post demonetisation.

“The cost incurred in harvesting the produce and transporting it to the local market turned out to be more than what it would have fetched the farmers,” Govind said.

Satya Prakash Verma, a farmer of Dadraul town, echoed similar sentiments. “We were ruined by the note ban,” he said.

Demonetisation also impacted the small local industries that depend heavily on cash transactions to pay wages of the labour procured locally. Traders were also adversely hit.

“Big industries did not experience the pain... the smaller ones were badly hit,” said Rajesh Gupta, a trader in Lakhimpur-Kheri district.

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