Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused Opposition parties of shedding “crocodile tears” over farmers while having neglected crucial development and irrigation projects during their rule.
He was addressing a public meeting in Mirzapur district after inaugurating the Rs 4,000- crore Bansagar Canal project on the last day of his two-day trip to Uttar Pradesh.
The Prime Minister also targeted rival parties over the Union government’s recent decision to hike Minimum Support Price (MSP) by 1.5 times. “Files on MSP used to come to them and lie untouched. But those who do politics in the name of farmers did not have time to even think about implementing MSP…No government had the courage to implement it,” Modi said.
The government has raised the MSP of 14 kharif crops in the range of Rs 200 to Rs 1,800 and it was decided that farmers should get a 50 per cent profit on the input cost of these crops, he added.
Modi said the day is not far when farmers’ income would double due to his government’s efforts. He said previous governments should be asked why they did not complete irrigation projects across the nation during their tenure. “This is not the matter of Bansagar alone. Such ‘atke, latke and bhatke’ (stuck up, pending and derailed) projects pertaining to farmers’ welfare can be found in several states. They never had any concern. Why were such projects left incomplete?” he asked.
Because of the delays in implementation of projects in the past, people suffered for decades, he said, adding that the Bansagar project would have cost only Rs 300 crore at one point of time.
“The Bansagar project will benefit Mirzapur, Allahabad and adjoining areas by providing irrigation to 1.5 lakh hectares of land. Had this project been completed earlier, the benefits which you would get now, would have reached you almost two decades ago,” said the Prime Minister.
“The previous governments did not bother about the farmers. The framework of the project was drawn almost 40 years ago. In 1978, the foundation of the project was laid, but work actually started after 20 years. Governments came and went, but on this project, there were only talks and promises and the people here did not get anything…You are witness to how previous governments have done half-hearted work for farming and irrigation,” he added.
The Prime Minister lauded the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, saying that since Yogi Adityanath had taken charge, the eastern zone was being paid adequate attention and development work in Purvanchal region had accelerated.
Flanked by Adityanath and Apna Dal (S) patron and Union Minister Anupriya Patel, Modi said, “The dreams that hard-working people like Sonelal Patel had seen, we are trying our best to make them come true.To give vikas (development) a boost in this region, I have once again come to you here.”
The Apna Dal (S), a BJP ally, has a large influence among the OBCs of the region. It had contested the last Assembly elections with the BJP and won 9 seats.
Modi also inaugurated 100 Jan Aushadhi Kendras besides dedicating a bridge over the Ganga at Balughat, Chunar, connecting Mirzapur and Varanasi. — With PTI