UPA II, NDA II made same mistakes: farm activist

UPA II, NDA II made same mistakes: farm activist

Kishor Tiwari

The agrarian distress in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country is worsening, says veteran farm activist Kishor Tiwari, who heads a task force of the Maharashtra government.

"The agrarian crisis is deep-rooted and a major push needs to be given to provide succour to farmers... The UPA-2 and NDA-2 made the same mistakes," said Tiwari, who is the chairman of Maharashtra government's Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission. 

The farmers' issue would be the deciding factor in the elections, he said.

Tiwari, who is also the founder of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, said the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and carrying forward the recommendations of M S Swaminathan Commission, was the need of the hour. Besides, the government needs to announce a complete loan waiver and also look into issues of malnutrition, health and education.

"The suicides by farmers have not stopped...we hear about it at regular intervals," he told DH in Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district, that has seen the largest number of suicides.

The National Crime Records Bureau had stopped releasing data related to farmers' suicides. "Figures can be hidden, but not reality," he said, adding that whosoever comes to power, the first issue that needs to be tackled is the agrarian distress.

In the last three decades, nearly three lakh farmers have committed suicide across the country. Addressing the issue involves dealing with credit, crop and cost.

"Tackling drought too is a big issue... there has to be equitable distribution of water, stoppage of wasting of water and water sustainability," the engineer-turned-farm activist said.