Fact checking Modi’s claims in UP election rallies: Some right, some wrong, some grossly exaggerated
PM Modi addressed an election rally on 16 February in Barabanki, in Uttar Pradesh. We fact checked five claims made by Modi during the speech.
By Abhishek Waghmare
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally on 16 February, 2017 in Barabanki, 30 km from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, which has seen three phases of voting in a seven-phase poll for the next vidhan sabha (legislative assembly).
We checked five claims made by Modi during the speech.
"Lekin agar sarkar ki school main…akhilesh ji ka kaam bolta hai…ki 50 percent teacher ki bharti hi nahi hui hai, to garib ka baccha padhaai kahaan karega?” (If, as work done by Akhilesh Yadav government shows, there is a 50 percent vacancy in teacher posts in UP, where will the children of the poor get education?)
FACT: Modi is partially right.
As many as 23 percent teacher posts in elementary grades (up to Std VIII) and 50 percent posts in secondary schools (Std IX and Std X) are vacant in Uttar Pradesh, IndiaSpend reported in December 2016.
Of six million teaching positions in government schools nationwide, about 900,000 elementary school teaching positions and 100,000 in secondary schools—put together, a million—are vacant, according to data tabled on 5 December, 2016 in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament).
Teacher vacancy in UP is the second worst in India for secondary schools and sixth worst for elementary schools.
States With Worst Teacher Vacancies
Source: Lok Sabha
Note: Union territories excluded
“Hindustan mein sabse jyada..daliton par atyachaar agar kahin hote hai, to us pradesh ka naam hai Uttar Pradesh” (If there is a region in India where crimes against lower castes are the highest, it is Uttar Pradesh)
FACT: Modi is wrong.
Though crimes against scheduled castes (SCs) were the highest in UP at 8,358 cases with 8,460 people affected in 2015, UP’s crime rate, or crime per 100,000 SC population, was 20, less than Gujarat (26), Madhya Pradesh (37) and Goa (51), according to data from the National Crimes Records Bureau.
As many as 11 states and one union territory registered worse crime rates against SCs than UP.
Among the other large states, Rajasthan registered the highest crime rate against dalits: 57 crimes per 100,000 SC population, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 52, Bihar at 39, Chhattisgarh at 31 and Maharashtra at 14.
Source: National Crimes Record Bureau; Crime per 100,000 scheduled caste population
While the crime rate in Gujarat has always been above 25 per 100,000 SC population, it has always been below 20 per 100,000 SC population in UP.
The crime rate against dalits in UP consistently fell during the tenure of former chief minister Mayawati and gradually increased during the tenure of current chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
“Uttar Pradesh mein kisano ki paidavar sirf three percent khareedi jaati hai” (Government procures only 3% of the farm produce in UP).
FACT: The figure quoted by Modi is right for wheat but wrong for rice.
Government agencies, such as the Food Corporation of India and state government agencies, procured 2.5 percent of wheat produced in UP in 2014-15 and 10.5% of rice produced that year in the state. Most of the farm output was sold by farmers to traders and commission agents in agriculture produce markets (APMCs).
“In Chhattisgarh, procurement of 60 percent of farm produce is done by the government at the minimum support price (MSP). In Madhya Pradesh, too, 60% is bought by the government, while Haryana is at 70 percent and Rajasthan at 50 percent,” Modi said.
The figures are true for Chhattisgarh for rice, close to reality for Madhya Pradesh for wheat, and close for both rice and wheat in Haryana.
Modi was wrong about Rajasthan. Rajasthan farmers sold 18 percent of their wheat to government procurement agencies in 2014-15, not 50 percent as the PM claimed.
Source: Understanding Price Variation in Agricultural Commodities in India: Minimum Support Price, Government Procurement, and Agriculture Markets, Shoumitro Chatterjee and Devesh Kapur, National Council for Applied Economic Research, 2016
“Humne aisi Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana laaye hai ki agar prakrutik karano se kisan buaai nahin kar paaya, to bhi usko bima milega. Aisi koi yojana dekhi hai?” (We started such a crop insurance scheme–named Prime Ministers’ Crop Insurance Scheme–where, even if natural reasons affect the crop at sowing, the farmer will be insured. Has anybody seen such a scheme before?).
FACT: Modi stretched the truth.
While the PM claimed that this is the first time crops are being insured against weather-related vagaries, an earlier insurance scheme had a sub-scheme named Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS), which was limited to some geographical regions but insured crops against drought, excess rains and even frost.
The crop-insurance spending included three parts: National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and WBCIS.
The PM Fasal Bima Yojana amalgamates two old schemes, NAIS and MNAIS. WBCIS is still distinct from the PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
The WBCIS component was piloted in 2003 for the summer crop and in 2008 for the winter crop. The Modi government spent more than Rs 1,000 crore in its first two years 2014-15 and 2015-16 on WBCIS even before Fasal Bima Yojana was rolled out.
Source: Union Budget 2016-17
Note: Actual figures for 2014-15; revised estimate for 2015-16
The government, under PM Modi, more than doubled the spending on crop insurance to Rs 13,200 crore–the highest ever–in 2016-17 (revised estimate), to cater to increased crop failures after consecutive drought years. The spending in 2017-18 is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore.
“Jahaan BJP ki sarkarein hai, chahe Gujarat ho, Maharashtra ho, Haryana ho, Rajasthan ho, Chhattisgarh ho, Jharkhand ho…wahaan 60-70 percent kisanonka (fayda) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana se ho chuka hai..aur Uttar Pradesh..sirf teen percent kisanonka bima hua” (In BJP-ruled states, about 60-70 percent farmers have benefitted from Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, while only 3% farmers in UP have been benefitted)
FACT: Modi is correct on the data for Maharashtra and Rajasthan, while he exaggerated the numbers for Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He is wrong about farmers who benefitted from the Fasal Bima Yojana in UP.
In Modi’s home state of Gujarat–a state with one of the highest rain deficits in the largely ‘normal’ monsoon of 2016, as IndiaSpend reported in October 2016– a fourth of farmers have benefitted from the flagship crop-insurance scheme, not 60-70 percent as Modi claimed.
Indiaspend.org is a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit/FactChecker.in is fact-checking initiative, scrutinising for veracity and context statements made by individuals and organisations in public life
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