Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim of Gujarat achieving new heights in its all-round development during his tenure as chief minister, the Congress on Tuesday said that if that was the case, then why did 2,718 farmers commit suicide between 2003 and 2016. Modi was CM of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014.
Claiming that these figures had been collected through Right to Information (RTI) applications, Congress spokesperson Himanshu Patel said that the farmers took the extreme step owing to anti-farmer policies of the BJP government that had landed them in a financial crisis. “If development had taken place during Modi’s rule in Gujarat, then why the monthly income of Gujarati farmers was only Rs 7,926 against Rs 18,059 in Punjab, Rs 14,434 in Haryana, Rs 10,869 in Arunachal Pradesh and Rs 8,832 in Karnataka,” the Congress leader said.
Patel added that Modi, while campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had promised to give farmers 50 per cent hike in the minimum support prices (MSP). “But Modi went back on his promise after he became the Prime Minister, shocking the farming community not only in Gujarat but all over the country. Now, farmers do not trust Modi or his party. People have understood that whatever Modi spoke in public meetings were only jumlas (poll gimmicks), not to be fulfiled,” he said. Patel demanded that the government table the inquiry report on alleged Sujlam-Suflam Yojana scandal in the Assembly.
‘Over 40 BJP leaders face criminal charges’
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi were on bail in the National Herald case, the Congress said that more than 40 BJP leaders, including former and sitting MPs and MLAs from Gujarat and even some ministers at the Centre and in Gujarat, are involved in criminal cases.
Party spokesperson Manish Doshi said that while BJP president Amit Shah was jailed for a month in connection with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and was externed from Gujarat on court order, sitting MPs Rajesh Chudasma, Naran Kachadia and Prabhu Vasava have criminal cases registered against them.