The Congress on Monday accused the BJP-led NDA government of betraying the farmer community by not fulfilling its promises to them and said as a responsible opposition it will “awaken” the public on the issue. The Congress also said it will try and coordinate with other opposition parties to raise the issue both inside and outside Parliament.
Party senior spokesperson C P Joshi said the Modi government in three years of being in power has put the agriculture sector in the “ICU” as it is gripped with widespread distress and farmers are committing suicide due to BJP’s anti-farmer policies and its “callous” approach.
He also dubbed as “farcical” the token fast by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and accused him of wasting crores of taxpayers’ money.
“The farmers of the country have been mercilessly backstabbed by the callous and insensitive attitude of the BJP government.
“We as a responsible opposition will awaken the people on this issue and if need be will also coordinate with other opposition parties to raise it both outside and inside Parliament,” Joshi told reporters.
He said no amount of diversionary tactics can take away the focus from BJP’s “sins against farmers”. “Why is the prime minister of India silent on the shooting of farmers and the massive farmer strike which took place in BJP-ruled states?” he asked.
The Congress leader also said that demonetisation has broken the cash-cycle the farmer had with the commission agents and it will take some time for things to normalise.
He said the BJP should first fulfil its primary promise of giving the farmers MSP plus 50 per cent of cost inputs as it promised in its manifesto ahead of the 2014 elections.
The Congress leader said if BJP had fulfilled this promise, this distress situation would not have arisen. He also criticised the Centre for leaving the farm loan waiver to the states and demanded that it should announce a uniform farm loan waiver from the Central funds to all states which are demanding the same.
Joshi posed a set of questions to the BJP which every farmer in the country was asking and said, “Why should the farm loan waiver be left to state governments? Why shouldn’t the Central government announce the loan waiver?”
He alleged the BJP-ruled government in Madhya Pradesh shot dead innocent farmers who were agitating for their promised rights.
Criticising zero import duty on foodgrains, he alleged the nexus with food grain mafia is evident, as reducing import duty has helped ease imports and farmers are not getting remunerative prices for their produce.