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Congress used farmers as vote bank, betrayed them: Modi
Malout (Pb): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Congress of betraying the farmers and using them only as a vote bank to further the interests of “one particular family”.
Addressing a rally in Punjab’s Malwa belt, he said despite toiling hard, farmers had lived a life of despair for decades because of the policies of Congress-led governments.
Modi said the NDA government has now taken several steps for the benefit of farmers, which was making the Congress and its allies lose sleep. The prime minister said the NDA government was trying to restore respect to farmers and soldiers, and was committed to doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
The rally showcased the recent Cabinet decision to hike the minimum support price of kharif crops, “fulfilling” the poll promise of ensuring that farmers make 50 per cent above their input costs. In a veiled attack on the Gandhi family, Modi said the only the concern had was “for one particular family”.
“I know why for years you could fetch only 10 per cent profit on the cost of inputs incurred by you,” he said. “Farmers are the soul of our nation, they are our ‘annadata’. But the Congress always betrayed them and told lies to them. The Congress used them as a vote bank,” he said.
He said that the NDA government at the Centre was working towards changing this scenario. “We had promised to double the income of farmers by 2022 and efforts are being made in this direction for the past four years,” he said.
The Kisan Kalyan Rally” (farmers’ welfare rally) was attended by several leaders from the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP, including Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Farmers from different parts of Punjab and neighbouring Haryana and Rajasthan gathered at the rally in Congress-ruled Punjab. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh later dismissed the rally as just “fluff” which had disappointed farmers who attended it. Modi spoke a few lines in Punjabi to strike a chord with the farmers at the rally. (PTI)