Farmers refuse to clear land for Modi's function in Bihar

Patna, March 3 (IANS) Around three dozen farmers in Bihar's Vaishali district have refused to reap their standing wheat crops to make space available for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's function on March 12, officials said on Thursday. Farmers of Sultanpur near Hajipur, the district headquarters of Vaishali and about 30 km from Patna, have been protesting against attempts by local authorities to cut their unripened crops for Modi's function. "These farmers are adamant not to cut their crops and threatened to protest if forced to do so," a district official told IANS from Hajipur. According to officials, the farmers have made it clear that they would not go for early harvest of standing crops since these would fetch low prices in the market. "Farmers have also rejected the offer of adequate compensation." The land on which Modi's function is proposed to be held belongs to nearly 40 farmers.  "We will not allow the administration to harvest our unripe crops at any cost. Even if they offer us five-fold compensation, we will not go for early harvest; it is our (final) decision," an angry farmer, who did not want to be named, said. A team of local officials, during their visit to the area two days ago, said that the farmers should cooperate to clear their farmland for the prime minister's function. But the farmers said they would harvest only the fully ripened crops by March-end.