Cong hits back, accuses Modi of betraying farmers

RSTV Bureau

Sonia_uCongress on Sunday ridiculed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurances to the farmers, accusing him of doing “somersault” on his promises after coming to power including on 50 per cent hike in Minimum Support Price.

Attacking Modi after he accused the opposition of spreading lies on the land acquisition bill in his monthly radio address, Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, said farmers are committing suicide and jawans are being killed by terrorists under his rule.

He said that around one year back in an election rally in Hazaribagh, Modi, then a PM candidate, had “distorted” Lal Bahadur Shastri’s slogan of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ to ‘Mar Jawan, Mar Kisan’ to attack the Congress.

“This was done just to get vote. He had also promised 50 per cent hike in MSP (Minimum Support Price) for farmers if voted to power. However in a reply to my question in Parliament his government has rejected the proposal of 50 per cent hike,” Patel said in a statement.

He said that “farmers are committing suicide and jawans are being killed by terrorist today”.

“This is not U turn but a somersault. What does PM have to say about this Mann Ki Baat?” he added.

Addressing a rally on April 25, 2014 in Punjab, Modi had said, “If NDA comes to power it will ensure remunerative prices to the farmers by adding 50 per cent profit into the peasants’ input cost”.

With opposition mounting campaign against the Land Acquisition Bill, Modi today reached out to farmers, telling them that “lies” are being spread over the measure for “political reasons” to create confusion among the farming community.

Speaking on the issue over radio in his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme, he insisted there were some “lacunae” in the Land Act of 2013 “as it was enacted in a hurry” and these are being addressed while protecting the interests of farmers and villages.

He made a veiled attack on Congress, saying “those projecting themselves as sympathisers of farmers and undertaking protests” had been using a 120-year-old law to acquire farm land for over 60-65 years after Independence and were now targeting his government which is “trying to improve upon the Act of 2013″.