Describing the Narendra Modi government as ‘kisan hiteshi‘ (pro-farmers), the BJP on Friday resolved at its national convention that farmers are the top-most priority of the ruling dispensation.
Months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the convention, the “biggest ever” gathering attended by over 12,000 party members, also passed a resolution on development in rural areas, citing a host of developmental measures taken by the government for transforming lives in villages.
The resolution comes after the Opposition’s accusation that the government “betrayed” farmers, and also protests from various farmer collectives in different parts of the country. Farm distress has been cited by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi as a key issue for the upcoming parliamentary polls.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh proposed the resolution on agriculture which was seconded by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP farmer wing head Virendra Singh.
While the resolution on poverty alleviation was proposed by External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, which was seconded by Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai and party’s vice-president Dushyant Gautam.
Swaraj at length described the initiatives taken by the Modi government in last four and half years such as the Jan Dhan Yojana under which bank accounts were opened and how these measures brought positive change in the lives of the people.
The convention with the presence of over 12,000 party members is the biggest party get-together, a BJP leader said. It is expected to rejuvenate the party cadres ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
The agriculture resolution lauded the government for “successfully” dealing with issues of farmers’ income. The government will not just be able to reach the goal of doubling of farmers’ income but would also be looking forward from there, it said.
The vision of the BJP is an independent, able, strong and prosperous farmer as annadata (food giver), who will take country’s economy to great heights, the resolution said. The resolution described the Modi government as ‘kisan hiteshi‘ and farmers its top most priority. All speakers described Modi government as the “well-wisher” of farmer.
“Farmers are likely to get 50 percent more benefit on their produce whereas on crops like urad and bajra the profit will be 96 percent,” Singh informed. The resolution at length compared the overall condition of agriculture sector and the support price given to farmers under the UPA rule and the NDA regime.
Singh said that the total budget allocation in the sector has almost doubled compared to the funds allocated during the UPA regime.
Later, addressing the press conference over the resolution, party’s national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav said in case of natural disasters, the agriculture sector has got Rs 32,000 crores from National Disaster Relief Fund which is 2.5 times higher than previous government and the allocations made to states is 82 percent more than previous government’s allotment.
In 2013-14, the UPA government spent Rs 2,151 crores on crop insurance which has now increased to 13,000 crores which is six times higher under Modi government, the resolution said.
“Earlier, they (farmers) were getting claims for minimum 50 percent damage to their crops, whereas now, even if there is 33 percent damage to crops, they are being benefitted, ” Yadav added while briefing on the resolution.
Taking dig at the Congress, Yadav asked why the farmers in Karnataka were getting notices. Listing the ruling government’s achievements, Yadav said the food grain production has increased to 11.4 percent in 2017-18. In horticulture, the production has shown 17.55 percent rise.
The resolution said a total of 17.53 crores soil health cards have been distributed, helping farmers to decide on right fertilizers. The party also lauded the government for taking some strong measures which include import duty on wheat increased to 20 percent and on tur dal to 10 percent.
Budget on agriculture education saw an increase of 55 percent in 2018-2019 compared to 2013-2014, added Yadav.