With reference to “Gujarat and rural distress” (January 9), according to the writer, the misery of groundnut and cotton farmers were more than compensated by milk and vegetable farmers in Gujarat, and the overall impression of opposition parties that rural voters have deserted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is actually not backed by facts. But the BJP does not need to rejoice over this, as the misery faced by groundnut and cotton farmers need to be addressed comprehensively.
Indeed, increasing the minimum support price is just one of many solutions. The others could be availability of cold storage, access to global markets so that the farmers are not dependent only on local consumption, and access to technology for both rich and poor farmers. And though milk and vegetable farmers may sound happy about getting Rs 100,000 annually, all the efforts should be made to increase their income as it will also impact the economy on the consumption front. Without an iota of doubt industrial hubs such as Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad create a lot of employment opportunity not only for locals but cheap labour from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Hopefully, this trend will continue. And the manner in which traders from Surat have supported the BJP means they are not dissatisfied with the implementation of the goods and services tax. So it would be better if the ruling party took every section of the society together and worked for their betterment in the next five years.
Bal Govind, Noida
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