Onion farmer shocked over ‘misuse’ of low price issue

Nashik (Maharashtra): Onion farmer Sanjay Sathe, who made national news by sending his meagre income to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday expressed shock over the misuse of the issue he raised.

“A Hindi daily ran a wrong story saying that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has asked him to make online payment after returning the money-order he had sent to Modi,” Sathe said.

On November 29, Sathe had sent the money-order of Rs 1,064 to Modi, which he got after selling 750 kg of onion, as a mark of protest.

He said he got back the money-order from the PMO on Monday. However, he said he was shocked to see in a newspaper that the PMO had asked him to make online payment instead.

“On Monday, a postman asked me to collect a money-order from PMO. However, nobody asked me to make any online payment. A newspaper ran a wrong story without having any conversation with me. I am feeling bad that my painful story has been given the shape of rumours,” Sathe told IANS.

“My intentions were just to make the government aware of the farmers’ condition. However, some people are trying to give the issue different colour. Even opposition parties here are using it. It must stop.”

Sathe also expressed anguish over the District Magistrate’s report that said he received low prices since the onion he sold had got blackened.

“No government official visited my field or any APMC market official before making such observations in the report,” he said.

Sathe said the prices were still low at the APMC market as the summer-grown onion was sold at Rs 200 per quintal, while the price of fresh arrival of winter grown crop slumped to Rs 400, on Thursday.