Bihar Agriculture Minister Sudhakar Singh on Saturday squarely blamed the BJP for the fertiliser crisis in the state, and alleged that the saffron party leaders were protecting those indulged in hoarding and black marketing of fertilisers.
The RJD leader, while speaking to reporters, alleged that the BJP leaders at the Centre and those who were part of the previous NDA government in the state were responsible for the crisis.
”The Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) government came to power in Bihar barely a month ago. BJP leaders who had earlier held the Agriculture portfolio allowed hoarding and black marketing of fertilisers in the state,” he said, referring to his predecessor Amrendra Pratap Singh.
Farmers in certain districts of Bihar including Khagaria, Katihar, Saharsa, Madhepura, Supaul, Purnea, Araria, Rohtas, Darbhanga, Buxar and Patna have been facing a shortage of fertilisers for quite some time due to its unavailability at designated fertiliser dealer shops, a senior official of the department said.
Union Minister of State for Fertilisers, Bhagwant Khuba, had on Friday accused the Nitish Kumar government of creating an ”artificial fertiliser crisis” in the state despite adequate and regular supply from the Centre.
Responding to the allegation, the state agriculture minister said, ”His statement that the fertiliser business has been left to middlemen and mafia in Bihar needs to be understood in totality. I am also saying the same thing that there was rampant corruption in the department during the NDA rule. BJP leader Amrendra Pratap Singh held the portfolio before me. Therefore, the Union minister is blaming his own party leaders for the crisis.” Alleging that the Nitish Kumar government was misleading farmers in the state, the Union minister had urged them not to pay even a penny extra as the Centre was giving heavy subsidies on fertilisers. Khuba had asserted that distribution needs cooperation from the state government and asked the ruling dispensation in Bihar to ”set things right” and not resort to blame-game.
Responding to this, the state agriculture minister said, ”I am urging the Union minister to stop giving subsidies to the central government agencies that supply fertilisers to the state since he has alleged the involvement of middlemen and mafia in the supply chain…he just can’t do that.” ”The agencies involved in fertiliser supply are central government entities…then why is he not stopping subsidies to these agencies? That is why I am saying all BJP leaders from Centre to Bihar are responsible for this crisis,” he added.