Launching a scathing attack on the Congress party at his Kisan Kalyan rally in Punjab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that decisions taken by him for the welfare of farmers were giving the Congress sleepless nights. He also alleged that when in power the Congress only “launched those schemes which suited the Gandhi family”.
Farmers from three states — Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan — had come for PM’s mega rally organised in Malout town of the state’s Muktsar district. Although both Rajasthan and Haryana are BJP-ruled states, Modi chose to address farmers of the two states from Punjab, which has a Congress government. The rally was billed as a “thanks giving” event organised by the SAD-BJP alliance of Punjab days after the NDA announced the MSP hike. Modi also tried speaking a few sentences in Punjabi at the rally, which was organised in the home district of the Badals. It was also former Punjab CM Prakash Singh Badal’s first public rally after losing Vidhan Sabha polls, although he had earlier been seen attending small public meetings in his own constituency.
Praising the former CM, Modi said: “Whenever I need any advise on issues related to farming, I always consult Parkash Singh Badal sahib. It is an honour for me that he came for this rally.”
Addressing the farmers, the PM added, “After my government took the decision of hiking the MSP of 14 Kharif crops, including paddy, soyabean, maize, bajra,arhar, moong and others, Congress party leaders had sleepless nights as farmers will now get sound sleep. They never took this decision in the past 70 years out of which 55 years this party ruled the country. Though they too had got files made on these lines and even had promised the farmers, they kept on sitting on those files for years together and were not able to implement it as they used farmers only as vote bank and not to solve their problems.”
Apart from the PM, other speakers at the event included SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, whom PM called his ‘dear friend’, state BJP president Shwait Malik, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, and former CM Parkash Singh Badal. In his 40-minute speech, PM said that his government had fulfilled the slogan of “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan in true sense”.
Attacking the Gandhi family, the PM said: “Congress implemented only those schemes which suited the Gandhi family and now they are spreading false rumours… Modi kam kar raha hai aur issse Congress ki neend ur gayi hai (Modi is working and due to which Congress has lost its sleep)…I am aware that our government in 2014 was formed with your support (farmers), we understand that farmers’ income is our income and hence we are making all efforts in the past four years to double your income….The formula of calculating MSP which we made will now work for ages and will make the farmers have a sound sleep.”
Pointing out the geography of the Malout town, Modi said,”This town connects the neighbouring states Haryana and Rajasthan. I am aware that this town is famous for its cotton crop. Par narme nu hun naram nahi rehan dena, takda karna hai (we will not let cotton crop dwindle, but will support it and make it stronger).” PM also advised farmers to go for crop diversification.
On the issue of paddy stubble burning, Modi appealed to farmers to stop doing it to safeguard the environment. “We have allocated Rs 50 crore for the awareness drive in states like Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi out of which half will be spent in Punjab alone. Subsidy on the machines supporting direct sowing is also available. Farmers must think about fertility of soil and the quality of air as well,” he said. Prime Minister spoke at length about soil health cards, irrigation facilities, health insurance for poor and many other schemes launched by NDA government for the farm sector. He also spoke about easy availability of urea, launching of more seed varieties and FDI in food processing industry to support the surplus agriculture produce.