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'Once again Modi has done jumlabaazi'

Last updated on: February 06, 2019 09:57 IST

'He is not looking at the interest of farmers. He only wants to do the politics of elections.'
'This Budget is for the new super India. It is exploiting the villages of Bharat.'

Farmers in their field in Bihar

Farmers in their field in Bihar where 33 of 38 districts have been declared drought hit. Photograph: Archana Masih/Rediff.com

"The government is willing to give one crore government staff 1 lakh crore; and 12 crore farmers only Rs 75,000 crore. Is this your sabka saath sabka vikas?"

"This is step motherly treatment with the farmers," says Vijay Jawandhia, founder member of the Shetkari Sangathana and a farmers's leader from Maharashtra.

"There is no doubt about rural distress, but based on such gimmicks and money power, the BJP will try to win the election again," Jawandhia tells Rediff.com's Archana Masih.

 

What effect will transferring Rs 6,000 per year have on marginal farmers which the government says will benefit 12 crore small farmers?

How is it that when elections are here, Modiji has started talking about farmers's benefits?

The BJP lost elections in three states. These states rejected Modiji's rural economy.

In Telangana, Modi's magic did not work at all.

The government is trying to repair it.

The BJP have realised their government has not brought benefits to farmers and their anger is growing.

Meanwhile, the Congress has waived loans up to Rs 2 lakhs in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Now before they go into the election, the government announces Rs 6,000 direct cash transfer to farmers owning land less than 5 acres.

What are the drawbacks of the scheme?

They have clubbed irrigated and non irrigated land together.

In Marathwada and Vidarabha, farmers have larger landholdings because their land includes non irrigated areas also.

The government is not going to give any money to farmers who have 7 to 8 acres of unirrigated land.

Is a farmer who has 8, 10, 15 acres land a Tata or Birla? Isn't he a small farmer too?

Modiji has created a division among the farmers.

When Dr Manmohan Singh's government waived loans, setting the land limit to 5 acres, it was unjust for the farmers of Marathwada.

That is why when loan waivers happened in Maharashtra, (state Chief Minister) Devendra Fadnavis removed the 5 acre ceiling and without acreage waived loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh.

When Maharashtra did this rectification, why is Modiji repeating that mistake?

It means he is not looking at the interest of farmers. He only wants to do the politics of elections.

Telangana and Odisha already have similar schemes, how is the Centre's scheme different?

Telangana's policy of giving Rs 4,000 for kharif per acre and Rs 4,000 for rabi per acre is much better than what Modi is proposing. This does not put any ceiling on however much acreage of land you have.

If you have 10 acres, you would get Rs 40,000.

Telangana has made a Rs 12,000 crore provision for this.

Odisha has taken this plan to even include labourers.

In what way has the Budget disappointed farmers?

The 7th Pay Commission will cost the exchequer Rs 1 lakh crore.

The government is willing to give one crore government staff Rs 1 lakh crore; and 12 crore farmers only Rs 75,000 crore.

Is this your sabka saath sabka vikas?

This is step motherly treatment with the farmers.

As (Gujarat) chief minister, Modi had opposed the 6th Pay Commission. The Congress created a gap between the village and city in the 6th Pay Commission, but Modiji is doing the same injustice in the 7th Pay Commission.

The government says it will give Rs 3,000 pension to the unorganised workforce. Those who are 28, 29 years of age will have to contribute Rs 100 per month. Thirty years later, at 60, they will get Rs 3,000 per month!

What will be the value of Rs 3,000 in 2050?

What is the government going to give those in my village who are 70, 75?

Once again, Modi has done jumlabazi with the elections in view.

Those who have Rs 5 lakh income have been given full income tax rebate, while the farmer who has 8 to 10 acres of land, has been given nothing.

This Budget is for the new super India. It is exploiting the villages of Bharat.

I want to invite Modiji for a chai pe charcha in any village in India.

Is there no positive impact of the Budget at all?

This is not going to end farmer distress. It is not going to end suicides. It won't increase the purchasing power of farmers. It will not help them repay loans.

In the Pay Commission you have increased the salaries of government staff, but you don't want to increase the income of the farmer? It means you think of the farmer as a slave just like the British.

You are doing the same thing that the Congress did, then what is the difference between both the parties?

How will this scheme benefit the BJP?

They are going to give Rs 2,000 before the election because the scheme will come into effect retrospectively from December 1, 2018.

They are giving it before the election to get votes.

The 5 lakh income tax rebate is targeted at the middle class of the cities to garner their support for the BJP.

That's why I say this budget is for Super India, not for Bharat. Super India is mocking Bharat.

It is shameful that after 70 years, a farmer who toils for 8 hours cannot buy grain for his own family.

What is Super India?

Super India is the India which is not involved in agriculture.

In the early days of the Shetkari Sangathna, we used to say India is divided into India and Bharat. Non agriculture was India and agriculture, unorganised labour was Bharat.

The hutments in Bombay were Bharat, the moneylender in the village was India.

After 1991, the rural and urban divide has increases rapidly. It has transformed India into Super India.

If you go to any Indian airport, you won't think we are in a poor country.

Isn't Modiji also increasing the rural and urban divide?

Only when Modiji addresses this question will there be sabka saath sabka vikas.

In what ways have successive governments consistently failed when it comes to the farmers?

There is no doubt about rural distress, but based on such gimmicks and money power, the BJP will try to win the election again.

It is not easy for the Congress or Opposition.

It does not make any difference whether it is the BJP or Congress, government policies don't favour us.

Piyush Goyal has given a 10 year vision in this Budget. They are still talking about doubling farmer income by 2022.

In 2026, when the 8th Pay Commission comes, the minimum income of a grade 4 government employee will be Rs 45,000.

1,500 per day.

I want to ask Modiji, Jaitleyji, Goyalji -- what according to them should farmers get as MSP?

Archana Masih