Thousands of farmers in Rajkot on Thursday took out a protest march demanding payment of insurance after their crop failed owing to less than normal rainfall in the region.
Non-payment of crop insurance has emerged as a major election issue in the Saurashtra and north Gujarat regions, where farmers are battling semi-drought and scarcity.
A total of 1.5 million farmers have been seeking crop insurance payments in a dozen districts in the two politically important regions in the State. In the past two weeks, thousands of farmers have staged protests demanding immediate payment of their claims.
On Monday, several Congress legislators and the party’s farmers’ wing leaders staged a protest at the office of the Director of Agriculture in the State capital Gandhinagar. Besides the Congress, the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, a farmers’ union affiliated to the RSS, has also demanded crop insurance payments.