Amid cheers for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the “biggest well-wisher of farmers”, the BJP’s National Convention that began on Friday passed a resolution highlighting initiatives taken by the party-led government for the agriculture sector.
The resolution, which described the Modi government as “pro-farmer”, was moved by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and seconded by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and party’s Kisan Morcha head Virendra Singh Mast.
The resolution comes after the party faced defeats in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan in the recent Assembly elections. Party leaders as well as political observers have attributed the debacle in the Hindi heartland to the growing distress in the agrarian sector. While Opposition Congress has been promising loan waivers, Prime Minister Modi and senior BJP leaders have ruled out the announcement of such loan waivers ahead of the election. In keeping with that, the resolution did not make any such promises, but focused on government’s initiatives for sustainable growth in the sector.
The resolution did not take a potshot at the Opposition’s criticism for the government’s “failures” in the sector and restricted itself to listing its achievements.
“The BJP lauds its government for successfully working out issues of farmers income. ‘New India’ that we are trying to create, we will not just be able to reach the goal of doubling of farmers’ income but would also be looking forward from there… We are conceptualizing an independent, able, strong and prosperous farmer as our annadata, who will take the country’s economy to great heights,” the resolution said.
Highlighting the MSP announced for the Rabi crops, Rajnath said farmers would get 50 per cent more benefit on their produce, while crops like Urad and Bajra would fetch the farmers 96 per cent benefits.
The party compared NDA government’s measures for the sector to those taken by the UPA. The total budget allocation in the sector now stands at Rs 2.11 lakh crore against UPA’s 1.21 lakh crore, it said.
In case of natural disasters, the agriculture sector has got Rs 32,000 crore from National Disaster Relief Fund, which is 2.5 times higher than the allocation under the previous government, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav told the media.
The resolution said the foodgrain production has increased and the number of insured farmers has also gone up.
The BJP passed another resolution on its achievements in the social sector under the title “Garib Kalyan”. Among the measures listed, most prominently projected is the government’s move to amend the Constitution to provide 10 per cent reservation for the economically backward in the general category. “The government has taken a revolutionary and historic decision for the poor and middles classes of the country. ..The benefit will be made available to the poor of every religion and to groups who were not getting reservation up till now,” the resolution said.
Union minister Sushma Swaraj moved the resolution on the welfare of the poor.