Maoist threatens general strike over farmers’ plight

Imphal, July 19 2012: Demanding an alternative arrangement for rice cultivation in the agricultural tracts of the state which are lying dry after the monsoon rain fails, the proscribed revolutionary group Maoist Communist Party, Manipur has threatened to call a 24-hour general strike on July 23 .

In a press statement, Maoist stated that the decision of the state government to cut down price of Urea while farmers are facing acute shortage of water due to failure of seasonal monsoon rain is not the right step.

The decision of the government is not to help the farmers but to swindle the funds for procuring Urea.

In the prevailing situation, Urea is not the primary need of the farmers.

If the government put some extra efforts in providing water to the farmers by providing water pumps instead of subsidising Urea prices, people of the state would have hailed it.

It further stated that no agricultural tracts in the state are big enough for the government to provide proper irrigation facility.

Besides, there is always a river or a stream or a canal in any cluster field areas, thus making it an easy task for the government to provide irrigation facilities to the farmers.

Only if the government realises this fact and provide whatever is necessary to get water from nearby water sources, farmers in the state would not have worried so much under the prevailing drought like situation.

While charging the government and officials concerned of the Agriculture Department as the main reason behind the problems being faced by the farmers in the state, Maoist demanded the government to provide adequate water pumps free of cost to the farmers by July 22 or resign from their respective posts.

If the government failed to meet the demand, Maoist would call a statewide 24 hours general strike on July 23, it stated.

The statement further slammed the Agriculture Minister who could not keep his word and resorted to some cheap politics.

The Minister himself had assured that the government would declare drought if the monsoon rain fails by July 15.Surprisingly, instead of declaring drought, the Minister is talking about cutting Urea price while farmers are unable to plant rice saplings due to acute shortage of water, the statement alleged, while exhorting the farmers of the state to press the government for declaring drought in the state.

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