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369 people have filed nomination papers for 70 seats in the five APMCs
The elections are not fought on party lines
Bidar: Preparations are in full swing for electing 70 members to the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees in the district. Polling will be held on April 26 and counting will be taken up on April 28.
Elections to these trade bodies in taluks are important because APMCs play a significant role in the rural economy. These committees control farm markets across the taluk. Members of these bodies decide the quantum, type and pricing of produce that is traded at the hobli and taluk levels. This determines what crops are seen as profitable by farmers. This also fixes the variety and acreage of crops in the next farming season. Each APMC director has a five-year tenure. The last elections were held in 2006. Farmers who are members of farm markets at hoblis or taluks are eligible to vote. Elections are not fought on party lines.
Each candidate is treated as an independent. However, traditionally, parties have put up their candidates in panels. Members of these informal panels do not fight under a common party banner. However, this system helps them campaign together.
This time, 369 people have filed nominations for 70 seats in the five APMCs. The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal (Secular) and the Congress have all put up their panels, and claim that their chances are better than those of the others.
“The BJP introduced unprecedented agriculture market reforms. We are sure the people will support us,” says district BJP president Subhash Kallur. “We were the first to streamline the system of auctions, procurement and wholesale trade. We mechanised markets and computerised them. Procurement at farm markets and their revenue have grown significantly in the last three years.”
“The BJP Government has done nothing but destroy the agricultural markets,” says JD(S) leader and former MLA Zulfikar Hashmi, alleging that the Government had divided the agricultural markets on caste basis. “The BJP has made the APMCs a monopoly of the upper castes and upper classes. This needs to be changed.” “The State Government has not taken any steps to develop farm markets,” says district Congress committee president Ishwar Khandre. “The Government has neither announced nor implemented any plans to provide remunerative prices to farmers. Many APMCs lack basic infrastructure. No investment has been made to improve facilities in these rural markets. We will create awareness about all these issues in our campaign.”
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