New Delhi: The Congress party on Monday accused the Narendra Modi government of speaking and acting differently on issues concerning farmers and said the demands of states affected by drought were not met adequately.
Initiating a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the drought situation in the country, Congress MP Jyotiraditya Scindia said 190 lakh hectares of land had been affected due to drought conditions.
“The prime minister talks of cooperative federalism but there is huge difference in words and deeds,” Scindia said, adding that the government had sought to curb power of states on announcing bonus for crops.
Scindia said allocation to agriculture ministry had come down and accused the government of not going for proper survey or providing proper compensation to the farmers affected by drought.
“That is why we say it is a suit-boot government,” Scindia said.
He said 190 lakh hectares of land had been affected due to drought conditions and if floods were also taken into account, the affected areas come to 222 lakh hectares.
Scindia said the seven of the affected states had sought relief of Rs.25,000 crore from the central government.
“But the central government was silent. There have been several announcements but implementation has been zero,” Scindia said.
He said the farmer is the backbone of the country but was under deep stress due to drought and “wrong policies of the government.”
The Congress leader also said agriculture growth had come down and there had been inadequate hike in minimum selling price of various crops.
He demanded that electricity bills and loans of farmers should be waived off.
Scindia, an MP from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, alleged that allocations for the rural employment guarantee scheme had come down and there had been delay in payments.
The scheme, he said, had been an effective instrument to reduce poverty.
He said the farmers had not benefitted due to relaxation in procurement norms announced by the government in April.
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh refuted Scindia’s charges and said Karanataka, a Congress-ruled state, had been provided allocation under the new norms.
Scindia, however, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was suffering from an illusion if it thinks that farmers were happy with its policies.
“You got an answer in Bihar, in Gujarat and you will get more such answers in the coming months,” Scindia said.