Because of Basmati rice, the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Punjab have become cold. The matter has reached the Prime Minister’s Office. After the ‘Kadaknath’ chicken, Madhya Pradesh has again asserted its claim for the GI tag of Basmati rice.
In response, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has written a letter to the Prime Minister saying that Madhya Pradesh does not come in the special area growing basmati. In such a situation, giving him the GI tag of Basmati will ruin the purpose of GI tagging. There are by-elections in 27 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh, there are issues like debt waiver of farmers, electricity bill, urea, now the rice war between the two states has also started a new battle between the Congress-BJP.
Significantly, Basmati has its own chic in rice. If India is the world’s largest rice exporter, then Basmati has a major stake in it. Last year, India exported 70 lakh tonnes of rice. The major share in the production and export of Basmati rice has been in the seven northern states of the country, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand Delhi, Jammu, and Kashmir.
Basmati is cultivated in 13 districts of Madhya Pradesh, last year the state produced 3 lakh tonnes of basmati. But the state does not have a GI tag, so Dhaka like Sehore’s wheat is not in the rice market.
Geographical Indication (GI) is used for products that have a specific geographical area of origin. The specialty and reputation of these products are also due to this core area. This tag assures the quality and uniqueness of the product. In the year 2004, ‘Darjeeling Tea’ got the GI tag for the first time, many products including Kadaknath Cock of Jhabua in Madhya Pradesh have got GI tag.
Shivraj tried in his third term but the claim was denied by the Registrar GIT. The government went to the Madras High Court but lost, now the matter is in the Supreme Court. The government is at the center by the BJP, the agriculture minister comes from Madhya Pradesh, but the BJP is asking questions to the Congress, then the Congress is reversing.
Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel said to answer this, Kamal Nath, if there is no Congress with the farmers of Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh has got GI tag of Basmati, for this, we have appealed in the Supreme Court, definitely, we will continue to provide GI tag to Madhya Pradesh Honorable Chief Minister and our Government of India.
At the same time, Congress spokesperson Abhay Dubey said that the BJP accuses the Punjab government in Madhya Pradesh whether the state government works on the advice of Punjab. It is unfortunate that Congress is accusing Congress of hiding the failures. Once the Modi government was opposed, the rice-producing farmers of Madhya Pradesh would have got justice in these 7 years.
On the other hand, Punjab says that Madhya Pradesh is not in the list of basmati rice-producing states of APEDA (Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority). Basmati grown here is a breeder seed. At the same time, Shivraj said in his letter that Basmati rice is being produced in 13 districts of the state since 1908.
It is written in the records of Scindia State (Gwalior) that Basmati seed was supplied to the farmers of the state in 1944. The report of the Indian Institute of Rice Research in Hyderabad records that Basmati rice has been produced in the state for the last 25 years.
Let us tell you that the economic-political advantage of this Basmati episode is that if the GI tag is received, the credibility of Shivraj and BJP will increase, it is the Congress state to attack. At the same time, Punjab is afraid of ending kinghood and economic loss.