Defending the Modi government in the Lok Sabha, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday the multi-pronged problems faced by farmers across the country is not recent but was the result of failures of the previous Congress governments.
‘The pressure on the farmers has not erupted in last 2-4 years but is the result of the failures of the governments that came before the BJP government,’ said Mr Singh making a brief intervention after Congress president Rahul Gandhi slammed the government for ‘not taking concrete steps’ in the Union Budget to provide relief to the farmers.
Singh, who held Agriculture portfolio under Vajpayee government, pointed out that there has been an increase of the Minimum Support Price for farmers and the announcement and implementation of the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana whereby the farmers have received Rs 6,000.
He also said an internal report has indicated that this has led to a 20-22 per cent increase in the income of the farmers, adding that no government has increased the MSP as this government.
In fact, farmers’ suicides have reduced during the Modi government, claimed Mr Rajnath, who held the portfolio of Home from 2014 till May this year.
Singh said the government was committed to alleviating the plight of the farmers and more will be done under the present dispensation.
Speaking during Zero Hour, Mr Gandhi said farmers are suffering throughout the country and farmers’ suicides are on the rise.
‘The farmers in the country are suffering. I would like to draw the Government’s attention towards it. No concrete steps were taken in the Union Budget to provide relief to the farmers,’ the Congress president alleged , adding the Budget has treated farmers as inferior to the rich.
Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a commitment to farmers and he must fulfill his commitment.