New Delhi, December 25
No corporate can snatch away a farmer’s land as long as Narendra Modi is the prime minister of the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday and asserted that the provision of MSP will continue and mandis will not be shut down.
Addressing a gathering in Kishangarh village in the national capital, Shah said if farmer organisations felt that any provision of the three new farm laws was against their interests, the Modi government was ready to discuss and consider it with an open mind.
The opposition is crying hoarse over the farm laws, he said assuring farmers that the three agricultural reform laws were in their interest and do not cause any harm to them. “Neither MSP will end, nor anyone can snatch your land. I want to tell farmers that as long as Narendra Modi is the prime minister, no corporate can snatch away your land, this is BJP’s promise to you,” he asserted.
Shah blamed the opposition, including the Congress, for spreading lies about the minimum support price (MSP) and other provisions of the farm laws.
“Opposition is telling brazen lies. I again reiterate that the MSP will continue and the mandis will not be closed. Farmers’ welfare is the top-most priority of the Modi government,” Shah said.
Lashing at opposition parties, he said that they did not have any issues and were using farmers to serve their self interests.
“I want to tell farmers in the whole country that opposition leaders have no issues and they are spreading lies that MSP will end. The prime minister has clarified and now I again clarify that MSP is there and will continue,” he said. Shah said that UPA leaders have no right to speak about MSP. He added that nothing was done by them to fulfil farmers’ demand for one-and-a-half times minimum support price on input cost of crops and it was implemented by the Modi government.
Shah listed various steps taken by the government in agricultural sector to show how it kept farmers’ welfare as its priority in comparison to those opposition leaders who were attacking it over farm laws.
The opposition leaders, including “Rahul Baba”, demanded loan waiver for farmers when the Modi government started Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, he said.
“In ten years of UPA government farm loans of Rs 60,000 crore were waived, while Modi government transferred Rs 95,000 crore in the accounts of ten crore farmers in two and half years, and now Rs 18,000 crore is being transferred today without any middleman coming in between,” he said.
Shah further said, “I want to ask those who talk about farmers’ interest, what they did do when they were in power? There was procurement of wheat and paddy worth Rs 3.74 lakh crore in 2009 to 2014, while the Modi government raised it to 8.22 lakh crore in 2014-19.” Attacking Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar, he said “I want to ask them who are talking about farmers? What was the budget for farmers in 2013-14 when UPA and Congress were in power. It was Rs 21,900 crore. The Modi government raised it to Rs 1.34 lakh crores in its last budget.” Shah said that the farm reforms brought by Modi were undertaken during Congress led United Progressive Alliance(UPA) regime. The reforms were given by Shankarlal Guru Committee in 2001 and by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, he said.
The home minister also accused the opposition of spreading lies about mandis.
“The mandis will also continue. They are spreading lies that mandis will be closed. I want to ask the opposition which provision tells them that the mandis will be closed? If they want a discussion over it, I can send Ramesh Bidhuri (South Delhi BJP MP) to tell them that mandis will not be closed,” Shah said amid a huge applause when he mentioned the name of Bidhuri who was present on the occasion.
The opposition leaders are “wailing” now and “spreading lies ” because the people of the country have discarded them and given Modi a place in their hearts, he said.
Shah attended Kisan Samman Nidhi event and also listened to Modi’s video interaction with farmers from several states, along with other BJP leaders at a Gaushala in Kishangarh village.
As protests showed no signs of abating Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused opposition parties of instigating and misleading protesters, a charge he as well as many of his ministers and party colleagues have taken turns to make several times in the past.
Modi said farmers across the country are aware of their reality, “what they did for them while they were in power”. “Those faking concerns over farmers’ lands, where were they when their lands were being grabbed,” he said while addressing farmers on the day he directly transferred Rs 18,000 crore to nine crore farmers across the country under the PM-Kisan scheme.
Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani were among the leaders who separately interacted with farmers at various places across the country and together with the gathering listened to the prime minister’s address.
In his rally, Singh appealed to farmers to try the three new farm laws as an “experiment” for a year or two and in case they are found not beneficial for the farming community, the government will do all necessary amendments.
Separately, Shah said no corporate can snatch away any farmer’s land as long as Modi is Prime Minister and asserted that the provision of MSP will continue and mandis will not be shut down.
In Amethi, Irani launched a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi, accusing him of “lying and misleading” farmers over the Centre’s recent farm laws.
“He is shedding crocodile tears for farmers and misleading them. His own jija (brother-in-law) has encroached upon the land of farmers,” she alleged, in an apparent reference to charges levelled against Robert Vadra by political rivals.
Modi released the installment of Rs 2,000 to every farmer on the birth anniversary of the former prime minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which is every year celebrated as “Good Governance Day” by the ruling party.
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 installments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.