Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of “vitiating the political atmosphere in the country” and not fulfilling promises made to people. The former Union agriculture minister also trained guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the ongoing farm crisis and rising attacks against minorities.
“The prime minister makes grand speeches on foreign soil on how he has transformed India’s global image. But he must first visit the report of the United Nations, where his government has been accused of failing to stop attacks on minorities. The same report also mentioned that forced conversions (to Hinduism) are taking place in the country,” he said.
The NCP chief was addressing a party gathering in Delhi on the occasion of the 19th Foundation Day of the NCP. “The Modi government had promised 2 crore jobs annually. It had also assured that farm produce will get 50 per cent returns over the MSP. But this turned out to be hollow promises. In the last two years, employment was provided to only 3 lakh people. In comparison, UPA government had provided 10 lakh jobs in 2009 alone,” Pawar said.
Blaming the government for the farm crisis, Pawar said, “The government was aware that there would be a record production of tur dal this year, yet it did not lift the ban on exports.” Meanwhile in Mumbai, Pawar’s daughter and party MP Supriya Sule led a party delegation to Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick and submitted a memorandum of demands over the farmers’ crisis.
Sule said that the BJP government in the state was not serious about resolving the crisis. “Farmers are ending their lives, but the state government still wants time to study the demand for a loan waiver,” she said.
Pawar said, “While this government paid a total premium of Rs 16,000 crore towards crop insurance, the amount released to insured farmers was Rs 7000 crore. Was the insurance scheme for benefiting farmers or for these insurance companies.”
Pawar also accused the BJP of sheltering some outfits (fringe groups) which are disturbing the country’s social fabric. He also accused the Modi government of attempting to take credit for various flagship schemes of the UPA including Aadhaar, NREGA and Direct Benefit Transfer, among others.