Farmer’s stir in mid-last year in Western UP had triggered stampede in the state politics and all roads from Delhi and Lucknow led to Bhatta Parsaul village in Gautam Buddh Nagar District. Gandhi scion Rahul Gandhi, senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, Kalraj Mishra and state party chief Surya Pratap Shahi, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and state party chief Akhilesh Yadav rushed to the village to express their solidarity with agitating farmers against land acquisition policy of the BSP government in the state. Actually their visit to the area was aimed at grabbing support of 60 percent farmers of the state in the election year as they (farmers) hold the key to power in the state. But baffling silence of this section of voters just ahead assembly polls has raised the anxiety of the leaderships of all prominent stake holders of the state politics.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) which is considered to be the voice of the farmers in the UP is also tight-lipped. BKU has neither struck any alliance with any political party nor fielded its own candidates for assembly polls. Other peasant organizations like Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, Rashtriya Kisan Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Morcha and Kisan Kranti Morch are yet to open their cards. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is leaving no stone unturned for realizing the dream of Mission 2012 which is aimed at ending over 22 years old exile of the Congress party from the power in the state.

The centre’s initiatives like- loan weaver of Rs. 36 thousand crores, announcement of special package for Bundelkhand, Rahul Gandhi’s foot march from Bhatta Parsol to Aligharh and Kisan Maharally and forging alliance with Rashtriya Lok Dal, predominant in the Western UP- are motivated by wooing farmers for the success of Congress’ mission. But at the same time, raising question on Congress’ failure in passing a new Land Acquisition Law, Arvind Singh, general secretary of the federation of the chairmen of Sugarcane Farmers’ Committees, terms Congress’ love for farmers as mere poll gimmick.

BJP leaders are also making all efforts to woo farmers. Besides visiting to the epicenter of the farmers agitation last year, prominent BJP leaders like former Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, State party Chief Surya Pratap Shahi and Kalraj Mishra, on number of occasions, promised loan weaver, cheaper loans, cheaper electricity and water for the farmers of the state. Special emphasis has been given on the issues concerning to the farmers in the party’s Vision Document, recently released as party’s road map for the state’s development.

Speaking on the condition of farmers in the state, Rakesh Singh, convener of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Morcha, says that almost all the political parties ruled over the state since independence but none did any good for the farmers and the rural areas.

Samajwadi Party leadership is also making all efforts to prove itself as the ‘only’ well wisher of farmers. State party chief Akhilesh Yadav is also paying special attention on rural parts of the state during his statewide Chariot march. While addressing public meetings, Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on many occasions, promised free water for farmers if his party was voted to power. BSP leaders are also working hard to persuade voters to vote in favour of the ruling party. To turn farmers’ opinion in its favour, the ruling party has doubled the minimum support price of sugarcane. By passing a Land Acquisition Law prior to centre, BSP government in the state has taken a lead over its rival Congress. In ticket distribution, the party raised the quota for the farmers who come from most backward community.

Other parties like Janata Dal-United and former Chief Minister Kalyan Sing’s Jankranti Party have also given primary importance to the issues concerning to the farmers. JD-U allotted party ticket to farmer leader Manveer Tevatia who is behind bars in Bhatta Parsaul case.

Despite all efforts by the parties, UP farmers are maintaining mysterious silence ahead of polling in the state. It is very difficult to fill the vacuum in the state politics which has appeared after the death of BKU leader Mahendra Singh Tikait who was known as the voice of the farmers in the state. BKU which played prominent role in 1993 and 1996 state elections is still tight-lipped. Its political wing, Bahujan Kisan Dal, has also not fielded its candidate for assembly polls.

On the other hand, Sudheer Pawar, the convener of Rashtriya Kisan Jagriti Manch, alleges that pro-farmer agenda of political parties is mere showoff which is solely responsible for pathetic condition of agriculture sector in the country. He advices the farmers to decide judiciously before casting their votes. Speaking on the shoddy behavior of the political parties, Shyamveer Singh, general secretary of Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, says that these party have nothing to do with the real issues concerning to farmers.