State Election Commission Rejects VJAS plea to to relax code for Vidarbha farm relief Aid
NAGPUR: 11th December 2011
The State Election Commissioner Neela Satyanarayan official turned down plea of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an advocacy group fighting for the cause of cotton growers of the region to relax the code of conduct imposed for the municipal council elections so that the state government could announce a relief package for farmers sighting the reasons that decision may influence voters and existing provisions of moral code of conduct can not relaxed as relief package is Govt. policy decision as per official letter wrote to Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), released to press release today by Kishore Tiwari VJAS president.
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) on 15.11. 011 filed a petition before the state election body has requested the state election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan to relax the model code and allow the state to extend relief to the cotton growers who were in serious state of distress because of crop losses. The VJAS has requested Chavan to pay compensation of Rs20,000 per hectare as difference in current purchase price and the actual cost of cotton cultivation, Pointing out that over a 1000 farmers have already committed suicide in the current year in the cotton belt, Tiwari has urged the poll panel chief that reports were submitted with the government from time to time warning of the impending crisis.
‘We are shocked with SEC rejection as same Govt. has announced relief package for sugarcane growers of western Maharashtra and SEC failed to raise any objection to that policy decisions and now SEC stands seems to be bias and stage managed ,we will move this matter before Election commission of India (ECI) asking them for urgent intervention as SEC babus are working as agents of Maharashtra Govt. and depriving dying framers community from relief which very serious issue as agrarian community no relevance and impact over municipal council elections and stand taken by SEC is rubbish to save Govt. from humiliation ’Tiwari added.
This issue has arisen when Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had put on hold decision to announce a compensation package for cotton growers citing the state election commission directives and failed to address the plight of the cotton growers who have suffered heavy crop losses in several pockets of Vidarbha, Marathwada expressed helplessness as the election commission had not allowed any policy announcement because of the code that was in force for the December 8 elections to 196 municipal councils in the state.
VJAS urge the state govt. to extend relief to the cotton growers who were in serious state of distress because of crop losses. The VJAS has requested Chavan to pay compensation of Rs20,000 per hectare as difference in current purchase price and the actual cost of cotton cultivation.
Tiwari has said in the plea that cotton procurement prices have not been revised substantially in last three years though input costs, including prices of seeds, fertilizers, labour costs had increased by about 40%. Several committees including the Narendra Jadhav committee had recommended urgent relief for dry land cotton farmers of the state but the government had failed to act on the reports. "After our meeting with the CM recently, the government had formulated a compensation package, But it was put on hold because of the model code of conduct," Tiwari said .
‘we made a forceful plea to the panel to relax the code as a special case so that the government could announce healing touch to the distressed cotton growers on the lines of those offered to sugarcane growers of western Maharashtra and relief package would go a long way in checking the unending suicides by farmers but hostile SEC Delayed relief which is very unfortunate. ’Tiwari added.