Verbal spate between ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh and opposition Congress party continues on the matter of GI certification of Basmati rice in favour of Madhya Pradesh.
The BJP has attacked Congress party after the party-ruled Punjab Government objected to allocation of GI tag to MP by authorities.
MP and Punjab have been fighting a legal battle for securing Geographical Indication tag to Basmati rice and recently the Registrar Geological Indication, Chennai had directed to Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to assign GI tag to Madhya Pradesh.
However, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh took objection to this process shooting a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for halting this process immediately. On this, BJP led by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan turned offensive against MP Congress.
“I am fighting for MP farmers and will ensure they get their complete due,” Chouhan said in a tweet. Chouhan said he has also written to PMO on this and hoped the State farmers will get their due.
Referring to the order from Geological Indication, Chennai; Chouhan said that organisations like IIRR Hyderabad and expert institutions have submitted their reports on MP having evidences of traditional Basmati rice farming.
He urged GoI to ensure that MP’s Basmati rice gets GI tag and farmers get their due.
For bolstering MP’s claim further on the coveted tag, Chouhan claimed that Punjab and Haryana exporters are sourcing Basmati from Madhya Pradesh and GoI figures affirm this. Centre is also supplying breeder seeds of MP’s Basmati since 1999, he added.
Scindia state records affirm that State farmers were supplied with Basmati seeds in year 1944, added Chouhan. Claiming that GI tagging will bolster export of state Basmati rice to foreign countries, Chief Minister added that 13 districts in Madhya Pradesh have been producing Basmati since 1908.
He trained his gun towards Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh asking him what kind of enmity he has with Madhya Pradesh farmers. Chouhan in his battery of tweets on the issue also criticised Singh’s letter written to PMO calling it politically motivated.
MPCC chief Kamal Nath was quick to respond
Accusing BJP of fuelling lies, Nath in a tweet claimed that he and his Government always backed GI tag for MP’s Basmati. Saying that Punjab Chief Minister is fighting a battle of his farmers, Nath in another tweet said that his Government had fought the case strongly in August 2019.
I am with farmers, there is nothing like BJP or Congress party in this issue, he affirmed. Nath accused the BJP of not taking up the fight strongly in last ten years.
“Under BJP in Centre and state, GI Registry, Chennai had declined to reckon MP as a Basmati producer,” alleged Nath.