Former army chief V K Singh to join Parliament gherao in support of canegrowers' demands

Former army chief VK Singh yesterday took his protest against the central government a step further threatening to join the  canegrowers' planned gherao of Parliament on 4 December.

Appearing on a new platform to lend support to Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan's (RKMS) demand for rejection of the Rangarajan Committee report, he said the report of the committee on scrapping the State Advisory Price (SAP) and cane area reservation would hurt the interests of farmers of northern states.

Addressing a press conference, Singh and RKMS convenor V M Singh released a letter they wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for rejection of the Rangarajan Committee report.

"In case the report is not rejected, canegrowers of northern states would gherao Parliament on 4 December as a protest against the said report," the letter said.

Singh said he was endorsing a call that was in the interest of farmers.

According to Singh, the revenue sharing formula suggested by the committee was not fair and did not provide a level-playing field to northern states, where sugar recovery was below 9 per cent.
However, the panel suggested 70 per cent revenue payment based on an average 10.31 per cent sugar recovery.

Singh demanded that the Centre should refrain from fixing remunerative price (FRP) and current system of SAP and cane area reservation should continue. He said the farmers' body has no further objections to other recommendations of the panel.