Launching a frontal attack on Opposition parties and certain NGOs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said “conspiracies” were being “hatched everyday” to “finish and defame” him.
Addressing a farmers’ rally on the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in the western Odisha town of Bargarh, Modi said there has been “a storm of protests” ever since he became Prime Minister.
“Some people are not able to digest my prime ministership. They can’t digest that a chaiwallah has become PM. Since the day we started seeking details (of foreign funding), these people ganged up against me and said ‘Modi ko Maaro, Modi ko Maaro’ (attack Modi). They are now hatching conspiracies everyday to finish and defame me,” he said.
“We coated urea with neem. Since urea was subsidised, factories were selling it in the black market. Farmers hardly got any. Now with neem coating, even 5 gram of urea is useless for anything except agriculture. Won’t people who were selling urea in the black market be angry with me now? Earlier, foreign money was coming to NGOs. We said money should come but it should be accountable. Should we not seek details of money coming from foreign shores and how it is spent here. It’s there in law,” he said.
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He said he will not give into “threats and blackmails”.
“Let me tell you, I am not going to waver from the path that you have chosen for me. You have elected me to keep out these diseases. I am not going to deviate from my objectives nor bow down. I know why these people are upset with me and what pricks them. But we will not allow the country to be looted or destroyed,” he said.
Until 2015, several chief ministers, he said, used to write him letters, complaining about shortfall of urea, but all that stopped after urea was coated with neem.
In January last year, the Modi government made it mandatory for urea manufacturers to produce neem-coated urea up to a minimum of 75 per cent of their total production of subsidised urea — from 35 per cent earlier — and allowed them to go up to 100 per cent. Urea is a controlled fertiliser and is sold at a fixed selling price of Rs 5,360 per tonne. The difference between cost of production and selling price is paid as subsidy to manufacturers.
Stressing on the importance of a second green revolution in the eastern states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and North-Eastern states, Modi said that by 2022, when India celebrates the 75th year of its independence, the income of farmers will have doubled.
“I think our farmers can do it if they do other things like pisciculture, apiculture and poultry along with farming. They can even plant timber trees on one third of their farmland, so that they can sell the timber in future,” he said. He said his government’s goal was to irrigate more farmland than what was done in the first 60 years of independence.
Pushing the Start-up India, Stand-up India programme, he said the programme was not just meant for high tech industries. “Our farmers can start making rice bran oil from paddy husk which is now a rage in Western countries. I promise the youth to get them finance under the Mudra Yojana if they start such an initiative,” he said.