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Congress alleges BJP put people's lives in danger

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has attacked the Modi government on several issues,including the Trauma Center in Sitapur Hospital which was closed for 7 years,Prime Minister's promise to give priority to Tomato-Onion-Potato (TOP) and on low prices of sugarcane in UP.

He alleged that though the Trauma Center of Sitapur District Hospital is lying idle for 7 years and the building was constructed during the tenure of the previous state government has been neglected by the BJP since coming to power. The result is that patients often have to travel to Lucknow for treatment,h said and asked PM Modi why is the BJP government putting people's lives in danger? Why is the Trauma Center in a bad condition for the last 7 years?

Likewise,Ramesh said that potato farmers in UP have had to face various problems in the last few years due to huge fluctuations in prices. Uttar Pradesh is the largest potato producing state of India. Last year, there were reports that potato growers in areas like Etawah, Farrukhabad, Kannauj and Auraiya were forced to sell their produce at rates lower than the state government's minimum price due to bumper production.



 Farmers were able to get money only at the rate of Rs 500 per quintal, which is less than half of their production cost of Rs 1200-1400 per quintal. In 2018, the PM had made a big promise that Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) was the top priority of his government. “{What happened to this TOP promise? Was this another catchphrase? What is the BJP government doing to ensure that potato farmers of UP get consistent, remunerative prices for their produce?”,Jairam Ramesh said.

He informed that Uttar Pradesh is the largest sugarcane producing state of India. Yet, the BJP government has consistently ignored farmers' demands to increase sugarcane prices. Prices in UP are only Rs 360 per quintal, which is much lower than Rs 386 per quintal in Punjab and Rs 391 per quintal in Haryana.

 The increase in prices that has taken place is very less in comparison to inflation. Farmers are struggling due to rising costs of fertilizers and pesticides. In the last three years, the area under cultivation has also reduced by about 4000 hectares, which is now causing problems for the sugar mills of UP.

Amid the shortage of sugarcane, mills are not able to pay farmers on time. Many people fear that the mills may close permanently. This vicious cycle is threatening the livelihood of sugarcane farmers and mill workers but the BJP government does not seem to be doing anything. Can the Prime Minister tell us why the BJP has ignored the plight of UP's once-booming sugar industry?

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