‘Earlier govts ignored farmers’: PM Modi targets opposition at PM-KISAN launch; opposition retorts

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to over one crore farmers.

Launching the scheme from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur, the prime minister said the first instalment of money under the scheme has been deposited in accounts of 1.01 crore farmers and those who didn’t get it on Sunday will get it in due course.

“This is your money and no one will be able to take it from you,” he told the farmers.

The prime minister said the scheme has been made foolproof so that no one can take away the right of the farmers.

There is no role of middleman in this scheme, he said.

In the interim Budget 2019-20, the central government had announced the PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year will be given in three instalments to 12 crore small and marginal farmers holding cultivable land up to two hectares.

‘Earlier govts ignored farmers’

  • “Earlier governments talked lot, made scheme on papers but did nothing for farmers’ empowerment. Farmers were harassed and exploited,” PM Modi said.
  • He ticked off opposition parties for remembering farmers once in a decade.
  • “Congress, SP, BSP remember farmers once in ten years. They just misguide farmers to seek vote,” Modi said and added that the farm loan waiver announced by Congress state governments is a sham. “They made a hue and cry by giving Rs 52,000 crore in 10 years while the PM-KISAN scheme will disburse 7.5 lakh crore.”

‘Loan waiver would have benefitted Congress: PM Modi

  • Modi said he did not favour writing off loans because “loan waiver scheme would have benefitted Congress people.”
  • The PM said Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra had sent the list of farmers to whom money could be transferred under the scheme.
  • He warned state governments which did not send the list not to harass farmers. “Some state did not send the list. You warn them that politics with farmers will destroy you. You might have problem with Modi but not harass the farmers.”

Opposition retorts

  • Mayawati said the annual payout of Rs 6000 to the farmers translated to Rs 500 per month or Rs 17 per day. This she said was a “pittance” and accused the BJP of merely doing lip service to the farmers.
  • “Rs 500 a month to poor farmers under is an insult. Farmers believe in their labour and want remunerative price of their produce but BJP mentality to give them little monetary help is atrocious and arrogant. BJP has failed to fulfil their promise,” Mayawati tweeted.
  • Her alliance partner, Akhilesh Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party also took to Twitter to say that “the farm crisis is a national crisis and needs a national solution, no poll-sop or individual state can implement change at this scale.”
  • Ahead of Modi launching the scheme, Congress leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram described it as a “bribe for votes” and said the “greater shame” is that the Election Commission is unable to stop it.