Accusing the Congress and other parties of shedding “crocodile tears’’ for farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked why development and irrigation projects across the country were ignored during their rule.
While addressing a public meeting in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh after inaugurating the Bansagar canal project and laying the foundation stone of the Mirzapur medical college, he said those using farmers for their agendas, did not have the time to think about an effective hike in Minimum Support Prices (MSPs).
PM Modi emphasised on the point that farmer’s income would get doubled due to his government’s efforts.
Those shedding “crocodile tears” for farmers today should be asked why they did not complete irrigation projects across the nation during their tenure, Modi said.
“This is not the matter of Bansagar alone. Such ‘atke, latke and bhatke’ (stuck up, pending and derailed) projects pertaining to farmers’ welfare can be found in different states. They never had any concern. Why were such projects left incomplete?” he asked.
The prime minister said that projects worth Rs 4,000 crore, including Bansagar project, were inaugurated or their foundation stone laid.
“In the name of agriculture and farmers, the previous governments had been leaving projects incomplete or delayed them,” Modi, who began his speech in the local dialect, said.
These delays have made the people suffer for decades, he added.
“The Bansagar project worth Rs 3,500 crore will benefit Mirzapur, Allahabad and adjoining areas by providing irrigation to 1.5 lakh hectares of land. Had this project been completed earlier, the benefits which you would get now, would have reached almost two decades ago,” he said.
Almost two decades have been lost, he rued.
“The previous governments did not bother about the farmers. The framework of the project was drawn almost 40 years ago. In 1978, the foundation of the project was laid, but work actually started after 20 years. Governments came and went, but on this project, there were only talks and promises and the people here did not get anything,” Modi said.
Modi praised the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, saying, since Yogi Adityanath took charge, the eastern zone was being paid adequate attention and development work in Purvanchal region accelerated.
“This area has divine powers. Last time in March when French President Emmanuel Macron had come here with me for the inauguration of a solar plant, we were welcomed with a picture of Goddess Vindhyavasini and a ‘chunri’ (sacred cloth).
“An overwhelmed Macron wanted to know the divine powers of the presiding deity and when I narrated the glory of the goddess, he was awestruck. All-round development of this area, which is a symbol of faith and tradition, is our commitment,” Modi said.
He said the NDA government was working to improve the lot of farmers and cited the recent hike in MSP for kharif crops and easy availability of fertilisers.
“There are people who are shedding crocodile tears in the name of the farmers. MSP used to be declared earlier too, but no purchases were made. Similarly, there were advertisements and photographs of support price in the newspaper, credit taken, but nothing went to the homes of the farmers. Files suggesting hike in MSP used to gather dust,” he said.
The government has raised the MSP of 14 kharif crops in the range of Rs 200 to Rs 1,800 and it was decided that farmers should get a 50 per cent profit on the input cost of these crops, he said.
After Mirzapur, Modi is likely to visit Shahjahanpur on July 21 to address a Kisan Kalyan rally.