ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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POLITICS- Janata s Unfinished Business

Prices Commission and an end to the present system of fixation and administration of all-India prices of food- grains. This demand is inspired by the experience of sugarcane pricing. Even if the Union government, on the recommendation of the Agricultural Prices Commission, fixes a minimum price for sugarcane, the state governments have been allowed freedom in recent years to fix market prices for sugarcane at levels much higher than the statutory minimum and these have, by and large, prevailed, especially in the case of the larger growers. The rich farmer leaders are trying for a similar dispensation in the case of foodgrains also. No political party has so far taken a clear stand on this aspect of the agitation of the farmers. Also significant in this context is that with differentiation in the peasantry sharpening especially in areas in which the so-called green revolution has made some headway, the rich farmers engaged in commercial agriculture have strengthened their social and economic base enormously in the agricultural sector and in rural life. This has necessarily strengthened their bargaining position against farm labour as well as other segments of society. It is awareness of their enhanced strength which is finding strong reflection in official policy as well as outlook and thinking of all established political formations. The ones most to suffer from this state of affairs are the landless farm workers and poor peasants. The question is whether at least the leftist political parties and formations can release themselves from the in- fluence of the big commercial farmers.

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