10 years of Modi govt's rule benefited farmers: Punjab BJP chief

Chandigarh, May 15 (IANS) Punjab unit Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday cited a huge upsurge in payouts to farmers in the state by the Centre, saying the increase in payments was in line with the BJP’s commitment to double the farmers’ income.

Debunking the “false narrative” being scripted by the AAP and Congress in the state to divert attention from their failures, Jakhar said issues of agitating farmers could only be addressed by the next BJP government at the Centre, which he said was now inevitable.

He also brought to the fore a string of anti-farmer measures under the current AAP dispensation in the state that has pushed farmers into distress.

The state BJP chief told the media here that in 2014 farmers were paid Rs 32,211 crore for both paddy and wheat crops.

“After a decade of BJP rule at the Centre, farmers received Rs 70,385 crore for crops which is more than double since last decade,” he said.

The budget for agriculture in 10 years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has been hiked from Rs 21,900 crore to Rs 1.25 lakh crore in 2024, Jakhar said. PM Modi-led BJP government has made 11 crore farmers beneficiary to the Kisan Nidhi scheme across India and a whopping Rs 3 lakh crore has been disbursed to farmers across the country, he said.

In Punjab, there were nearly 23 lakh Kisan Samman Nidhi cards for farmers.

“Ironically, today under the AAP rule in Punjab, there are just about 8.5 lakh cards of farmers and the majority of nearly 15 lakh farmers are bereft of the benefits of the scheme,” Jakhar said.

“Farmers have been deprived of the Centre’s scheme due to the laxity of the state government. A sum of Rs 900 crore could not be added to the farmers’ income under the Centre’s scheme because the AAP government, which was duty bound to get the KYC (know your customer) done, failed. Why are Kisan unions and farmer organisations not protesting against this in Punjab? What about the claims of the AAP of doorstep services?” questioned Jakhar.

“Farmers hit by floods last year and suffering crop damage received Rs 180 crore at Rs 6,800 per acre of crop damage from the allocation made by the Centre,” he said, lamenting that Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had promised to pay Rs 20,000 without ‘girdawari’ to farmers, of which not a penny was paid.

Jakhar said that states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and others pay bonus on crop produce to farmers.

“In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Rs 125 is paid over and above MSP (minimum support price) on wheat by the state government. Why is Bhagwant Mann not paying a single penny as bonus?” the state unit BJP chief questioned.

Jakhar said Punjab farmers majorly produce wheat and paddy for which MSP is provided.

“Why are farmers seeking MSP on other items that are not produced or insignificantly produced in Punjab? Whose battle are Punjab farmers fighting, since the MSP on all crops does not concern them?” he asked.



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