Gadkari blames global economy, excess output for agri crisis

NAGPUR, June 2:  Union minister Nitin Gadkari today blamed the global economic situation and surplus production for farmers’ woes, and assured that the Centre is working on “a war footing” to solve their problems.
The Union Minister of Shipping and Road Transport was addressing a press conference here to highlight the BJP-led Central government’s achievements in thelast four years.
“This situation has arisen due to the global economy and surplus production. This is an old issue, not a new one. The government is working on a war footing by formulating mid- and long-term policies as well as exporting excess produce,” he said to a question about the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
Asked about the situation in Maharashtra which has witnessed major farmers’ agitations recently, he said, “Farmers are facing some difficulties, not getting proper minimum support price, and milk prices have come down.
“But Maharashtra is a progressive state. Around Rs 2,000 crore worth of grapes and Rs 1,600 crore worth of onions have been exported from here. Dry ports are coming up in Nashik, Jalna, Wardha, Pune and Sangli. Irrigation potential is increasing in Maharashtra,” Gadkari said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in Delhi today to meet the Union agriculture minister and discuss making more godowns available in view of excess tur dal production, he informed.
On the setbacks for the BJP in the Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections in 11 states, Gadkari said, “Politics is not being done on the issue of development. Communal politics is being pursued (by Opposition) by creating fear in the minds of Muslims, Dalits and tribals.”
Opposition is spreading misinformation that Muslims are unsafe, Constitution will be changed and reservations for the tribals will be scrapped, the senior BJP leader alleged.
The BJP does not do politics of caste, language or religion, he said. (PTI)