Narendra Modi reiterates promise to double farmers' income at Midnapore, TMC dismisses assurance
TMC sought to know how the prime minister is going to fulfill the promise as Mamata Banerjee-led party claimed that the income of farmers in West Bengal has more than tripled in past seven years
Midnapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said his government is working to double farmers' income by 2022, prompting the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) to dub it an old but "yet-to-be fulfilled" promise made years ago by the BJP.
The Mamata Banerjee-led party also sought to know how the prime minister is going to fulfil the promise, even as it claimed that the income of farmers in West Bengal has more than tripled in the past seven years under the TMC rule.
Addressing a 'Kisan Kalyan' rally in Midnapore, Modi said, "My government is your government. It is a government of farmers. Our government worked for farmers from quality seeds to market.
It is important to have warehouse to save the produce."
"The farmers are the soul of India. A country can't develop fully until and unless there is development of farmers," he said.
Exhorting the TMC government to work for farmers, Modi said, "I hope the West Bengal government will take the required steps to create infrastructure for farmers. We want our farmers to use latest technology."
On the plight of potato farmers in Bengal, he said the state government should build more warehouses so that crops don't go waste.
Referring to TMC posters with photographs of chief minister Mamata Banerjee put up near the rally venue, Modi said, "I am thankful to Mamata didi. Even the TMC cannot deny our achievements. They have put up posters of didi with folded hands welcoming the prime minister."
But the TMC hit back saying that similar signages can be seen across the state for the party's 21 July 'Shahid Diwas' rally. "He is obviously not well informed," it said.
The TMC also alleged that some of these posters and banners were defaced and pulled down by BJP workers.
Modi said the previous governments did not work for the development of farmers. Several commissions were set up to look into the issue of increasing Minimum Support Price (MSP) but nothing happened.
Speaking about the increase in MSPs for paddy and other Kharif crops, he said the central government increased the price per quintal of jute, which would help the growers in Bengal.
Referring to Modi's statement that his government is working to double farmers' income by 2022, the TMC said it was a promise made many years ago in BJP's manifesto but is "yet-to-be fulfilled".
"May we now ask the BJP leader how he plans to double farmers' income? It was a promise made many years ago in his party's manifesto, but still not delivered", a joint statement issued by TMC general secretary Partha Chatterjee and its Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien said.
They claimed that the prime minister's meeting today was attended mostly by people from neighbouring Jharkhand and Odisha, and even vehicles from Patna were spotted.
"There were hardly any locals or farmers. There was a lot of corporate money spent for this political meeting but what has been the net result? How have the farmers benefited," they asked.
Claiming that farmers' income in the state has more than tripled in the past seven years, they said that in 2011 - when the TMC government came to power - it was Rs 91,000 and in 2017 it went up to Rs 2,90,000.
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Basirhat Dakshin recorded a voter turnout of 86.81 percent in the 2016 election, when 2,16,862 voters exercised their franchise.
Basirhat Uttar Assembly constituency will go to the polls on 17 April, during the fifth phase of the 2021 Assembly election.