West UP Vot­ers Crit­i­cal of Note Ban

Sev­eral farm­ers say they faced dif­fi­cul­ties in sow­ing rabi crop

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Meerut |Bagh­pat| Sa­ha­ran­pur: De­mon­eti­sa­tion has led to a lot of re­sent­ment among farm­ers, traders, shop­keep­ers and the lower mid­dle class peo­ple in western Ut­tar Pradesh, who openly vent their anger against the move and blame the BJP for the eco­nomic hard­ships they have faced since Novem­ber 8 last year.

In this sug­ar­cane belt, farm­ers said they have suf­fered due to de­mon­eti­sa­tion and have doubts about how ef­fec­tive the gov­ern­ment’s move to with­draw old ₹ 500 and ₹ 1,000 notes as le­gal ten­der will be in erad­i­cat­ing graft and black money. “Ear­lier also we had dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting the money for our crop. Now a new ex­cuse is de­mon­eti­sa­tion,” said Karam­pal, a Jat farmer in Bagh­pat. While two sugar mills in the area were more punc­tual in pay­ments to sug­ar­cane farm­ers,thep­ri­vatemillinthedis­trict has fur­ther de­layed the clear­ance of dues.

Dharam­pal Singh, an­other lo­cal farmer, said, “We usu­ally get the ar­rears of the last sug­ar­cane crop­byNovem­ber.This­time­one does not know how much de­lay there will be.” The har­vest sea­son for the sug­ar­cane crop is on.

All ma­jor po­lit­i­cal parties con­test­ing the upcoming sev­en­phase assem­bly elec­tion, which kicks off on Fe­bru­ary 11, have sought­tomakede­mon­eti­sa­tiona poll is­sue. While PM Naren­dra Modi has said in his ral­lies that de­mon­eti­sa­tion has hit the black mon­ey­hoard­er­sandthecor­rupt, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, UP CM Akhilesh Ya­dav and BSP chief Mayawati have at­tacked BJP on the is­sue in ev­ery pub­lic meet­ing. Ev­ery time Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Ya­dav have slammed de­mon­eti­sa­tion, the crowd at their pub­lic meet­ings have ap­plauded them.

Sev­eral farm­ers said they faced sev­ered­if­fi­cul­tiesin­sow­ingth­eir rabi crop due to de­mon­eti­sa­tion. Ajit and Vinod, both aged above 50, said the cash crunch in­duced by de­mon­eti­sa­tion caused enor­mous dif­fi­cul­ties dur­ing wed­dings. “The cooks we hired for a mar­riage do not have a bank ac­count. One could only with­draw ₹ 24,000 at a time from a bank. How can one hold a mar­riage with this small amount?” Vinod said.They­said­invil­lagesone­has to keep cash handy in case there is a med­i­cal emer­gency. “What if some­body in the fam­ily falls ill and­has­to­beim­me­di­atelyshifted toa­hos­pi­tal?”Aji­tasked.Be­ly­ing the BJP’s hopes of an elec­toral div­i­dend from de­mon­eti­sa­tion, Ankur Prad­han, a con­trac­tor in Meerut said, “Modi is so pow­er­ful. Why does his mother have to stand in a queue? We have not seen any rich per­son stand in a queue out­side a bank since de­mon­eti­sa­tion was an­nounced.”

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