During his interaction with farmers from six states on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal saying her ideology has destroyed the state and that she was doing politics by stopping over 70 lakh farmers of the state from getting benefits of the Centre’s flagship PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 is being provided every year. Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in West Bengal in a few months.
PM Modi also wondered while there were agitations against the new farm laws, no protests were visible against West Bengal’s decision of not implementing PM-Kisan scheme.
“Around 70 lakh farmers of West Bengal are not getting the benefit of this scheme, which is fully funded by the Centre. Bengal is the only state which is not allowing benefits of the schemes to reach the farmers. Mamata Banerjee govt has destroyed West Bengal, they’re playing politics by stopping benefits for their own farmers. Her actions against the farmers have hurt me a lot. Why is the Opposition quiet on this?” PM Modi asked.
Modi said more than 23 lakh West Bengal farmers have applied online to take advantage of this scheme, but the state government has stopped the verification process for so long. “If you listen to 15 years old speech of Mamta Ji, then you will know how much this ideology has ruined Bengal,” he said.
The Prime Minister said everyone knows how the state has been ruined by the political ideology of those who ruled there for decades. “The public is watching those doing selfish politics very closely. The parties that do not speak on the benefit of farmers in West Bengal are engaged in harassing the citizens of Delhi here in the name of the farmers and are ruining the economy of the country,” he added.
Slamming the Kerala government for joining farmers protest, PM Modi said, “Those ruling Kerala for years are joining Punjab farmers for selfies, but not doing anything for mandi system in own state.”
“The groups who are talking about mandis, APMC are the ones who destroyed West Bengal, Kerala. There are no APMCs and mandis in Kerala. So, why are no protests in Kerala? Why don’t they start a movement there? But are only misguiding the farmers of Punjab,” he added.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to small and marginal farmers, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
In an interaction with farmers of six states on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the Opposition for “pushing a political agenda” by “spreading myths and lies” over the new farm laws. “Some parties are pushing a political agenda by opposing the new farm laws. Some people are spreading myths and lies that land will be taken away if farmers enter into contract farming,” he said.
Modi trying to mislead people with distorted facts: Mamata on PM-KISAN in Bengal
Meanwhile, Banerjee on Friday accused PM Modi of trying to mislead the people with half-truth and distorted facts over the non-implementation of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme in the state. She said Modi showed his apparent concern towards the farmers through a televised address, instead of proactively working to resolve their problems. “While he (PM Modi) publicly claimed his intention to help farmers of West Bengal through his PM Kisan Yojana and alleges non cooperation of the state government, the fact is that he is trying to mislead the people with half-truth and distorted facts,” Banerjee said in a statement.
She said that her government has always been ready to cooperate in the interest of the farmers. Maintaining that she has written twice to the Union agriculture minister and has even spoken to him two days ago, Banerjee said, “They are refusing to cooperate and are instead indulging in malicious propaganda for political gains”.
The chief minister said that when the state is implementing so many schemes with the central government, the allegation of not cooperating on a scheme that is benefiting farmers seems absurd.
Her party, Trinamool Congress (TMC), too has accused the Centre of trying to mislead farmers of West Bengal by repeatedly blaming the state government for depriving them of cash benefits under the ‘PM Kisan Nidhi Samman’ scheme. “BJP is repeatedly saying the farmers of West Bengal are being deprived of cash under this scheme. That is not true. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had asked the Centre to route the cash benefits through the state government and not directly to the farmers. “The intention of the Modi government is to reap political benefits,” TMC MP Sougata Roy told reporters.
Roy also said the new farm legislations will help corporates and usher in contract farming in the country.