Accusing the BJP-led central government of "betraying" the farming community, the Consortium of Indian Farmers Association (CIFA) announced on Wednesday its decision not to vote for the party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"Our consortium comprising 13 farmers' organisations has decided not to vote for BJP candidates in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Besides, we have also decided that farmers should also not vote for BJP contestants in coming assembly elections in some states including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh," CIFA president Satnam Singh Behru said at a press conference in Chandigarh.
He said their intention of boycotting BJP candidates should not be construed that farmers wanted to give benefit to any particular political party during polls.
"We have appealed to growers to vote for candidates of non-BJP parties or an Independent candidate. This decision was taken to teach a lesson to the BJP for betraying the farming community," Mr Behru said.
"The BJP had promised that it would implement Swaminathan Commission report in its poll manifesto in 2014. But after coming to power, the BJP government refused to implement it," he said.
Alleging the government of being "anti-farmers", Mr Behru said the BJP government was "playing a cruel joke" with the community by hiking wheat minimum support price (MSP) "by just Rs 105 per quintal".
"Farmers' input cost has gone up considerably and the government has given just Rs 105 a quintal increase in wheat MSP which is grossly inadequate," Mr Behru said.