The scale of the protest has set the alarm bells ringing. The administration fears trouble in the coming days given the burgeoning discontent among farmers. In an effort to pacify the protesters, the state government promptly transferred the DM and suspended the ssp and the DSP. However, the agitating farmers relented only when the administration agreed to appoint a subdivisional magistrate of their choice to probe the death.
According to district administration officials, what the entire episode has revealed is that in western UP, the generally assertive farmers are becoming even more vocal and desperate. Consequently, outfits like the BKU and Rashtriya Lok Dal (of Ajit Singh), which have traditionally derived their strengths from this agrarian constituency, are clamouring to harness and exploit this discontent to the hilt. And Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, an arriviste in the Jat belt, is unwilling to be left behind. A common complaint one encounters in the villages is that the state government has been harsh on the farmers and has failed to meet their legitimate demand for higher minimum support prices for their crops.