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Will amend sugarcane Ordinance: PM

Last updated on: November 19, 2009 21:14 IST

The Centre will amend the Ordinance on sugarcane prices if it affects the interest of farmers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday.

The assurance was given by Prime Minister to Rahul Gandhi who met him, AICC secretary Pervez Hashmi told reporters, adding the "PM has said that we will not do anything that goes against the farmers".

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said the prime minister has assured Rahul that the "government will look into the matter again and assured him that if it is in the interest of farmers the Ordinance will be suitable amended".

Rahul's meeting with prime minister took place against the backdrop of the controversy over the new sugarcane pricing policy that gave a stormy start to the winter session of Lok Sabha which was adjourned on the issue.

The government was forced to rethink its stance after protests over the sugarcane Ordinance by Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Chaudhary Ajit Singh, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Communist Party of India - Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury.

"When our farmers go out to buy something, they have to pay four to five times the actual price," Chaudhary Ajit Singh said at a well-attended public meeting.

Thousands of farmers, brandishing sugar canes as a mark of protest, attended the gathering. Both Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janata Dal - United leader Sharad Yadav demanded that the support price for sugar cane should be fixed at Rs 200 per quintal.

Ajit Singh has announced that the next course of action will be announced soon.

With inputs from PTI

Onkar Singh In New Delhi