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Farmers Misled by BJP's 'False Promises, Political Lollipops' Again: Congress

Dubbing the Modi government as a "symbol of cruelty" on farmers, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the time has come for the government to answer questions of those who feed the nation.

PTI

Updated:October 3, 2018, 10:46 PM IST
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Farmers Misled by BJP's 'False Promises, Political Lollipops' Again: Congress
Police personnel clash with farmers protesting at Delhi-UP border during 'Kisan Kranti Padyatra' in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of using force against farmers to end their agitation at the Delhi-UP border and said they have been again misled by the BJP's "false promises, jumlas and political lollipops".

Dubbing the Modi government as a "symbol of cruelty" on farmers, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the time has come for the government to answer questions of those who feed the nation.

He said the treatment meted out to the protesting farmers at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border on Gandhi Jayanti symbolises the treatment to them in states ruled by the BJP where deep wounds are inflicted on them by using bullets and batons and "false and hollow promises" given to them due to which their patience is running out.

The Congress leader said tear gas shells were lobbed at the agitating farmers and they were lathi-charged and that attempts are now being made to lure them with false promises to end their agitation.

The government Wednesday announced a 6 per cent hike in wheat support price to Rs 1,840 per quintal and up to 21 per cent increase in other rabi crops, a move that will give farmers Rs 62,635 crore additional income and help contain their simmering discontent over high input cost and low returns.

"Wherever the BJP is in power, be it the central government or the states, the farmers have been cheated with false and hollow promises. How long will the Modi government lure them with political lollipops. Time has come for the Modi government to speak up and answer questions raised by farmers," he told reporters.

Surjewala alleged that the government is giving them mere assurances and "political lollipops" and false promises and "it seems Modi ji wants to build a 'Kisan-mukt Bharat'."

He cited use of force against farmers agitating for their demands in the BJP-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.

"On birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it was a naked show of violence by the Modi government against protesting farmers on the Delhi-UP border. After attacking farmers with lathis, tear-gas and water canons, the Modi and Yogi governments returned the farmers with a bouquet of false promises. The time has come when the government answers questions about the demands of those feeding the country," he said.

The Congress leader said the Modi government came to power in 2014 with the promise fixing the minimum support price for crops at cost plus 50 per cent, and asked, "Why this promise has become a 'jumla' (election rhetoric)?"

Surjewala quoted Mahatma Gandhi who had said during the British rule that  if justice is not done to farmers, the crores of starved but awakened farmers will create such a revolution in the country that even the armed forces of the most powerful government will fail to control that revolution".

"These words of Mahatma Gandhi aptly applies on the present anti-farmer Modi government," he said.

The Congress leader alleged that only one voice is heard in every corner of this country that "Narendra Modi is anti-farmer" and said the patience of farmers is running out.

He said the situation can be gauged from the fact that on birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, when farmers were being lathi-charged in Delhi, farmer Ranveer Singh from Bhiwani in Haryana breathed his last behind bars on account of his failure to repay a loan of Rs 9 lakhs. "Nothing can be more tragic on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi," he said.

Citing incident of cruelty towards farmers, he said in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, half a dozen farmers were killed in police firing, in Dahod in Gujarat, innocent farmers were riddled with bullets, in Chomu and Sriganganagar in Rajasthan, farmers had to face police firing and in Aurangabad in Maharashtra unarmed sugarcane farmers faced police bullets.

In 2017, farmers from Tamil Nadu suffering the onslaught of severe draught, agitated at Jantar Mantar for two months and also staged dharna in front of the PM residence and registered their protest by consuming human excreta, but prime minister Modi did not even meet them.

In March 2018, 50,000 farmers from Nashik in Maharashtra reached Mumbai travelling a distance of 200 Kms to knock at the doors of the BJP Government, but the BJP Government refused to acknowledge their promises.

He said as per the RBI report, the Modi Government waived off a loan of Rs 3,17,000 crore outstanding against crony industrialists between April 2014 and April 2018. In such a scenario, he alleged, the government is reluctant to waive loan of Rs 62,000 crore of farmers of this country.

"This government has broken the backbone of farmers by increasing the diesel rate to a totally unreasonable level. On 16.5.2014, the diesel was at Rs 55.49 per litre whereas today it is at Rs 75.25 per litre, an exorbitant increase of Rs 19.76 per litre.

The PM Crop Insurance Scheme has become a profit reaping scheme for the private insurance companies, he alleged the farmers received a compensation of only Rs 5,650 crore under the scheme, whereas the insurance companies made a profit of Rs 14,828 crore through premium.
| Edited by: Padmaja Venkataraman
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