Fact check on Modi’s UP election campaign: Truths, half-truths and tall claims
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally on February 16, 2017 in Barabanki, 30km from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh that has seen three phases of voting in a seven-phase poll for the next Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly).assembly elections Updated: Mar 03, 2017 17:15 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally on February 16, 2017 in Barabanki, 30km from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh that has seen three phases of voting in a seven-phase poll for the next Vidhan Sabha (legislative assembly).
We checked five claims made by Modi during the speech
Lekin agar sarkar ki school main…akhilesh ji ka kaam bolta hai…ki 50% teacher ki bharti hi nahi hui hai, to garib ka baccha padhaai kahaan karega?” (If, as work done by Akhilesh Yadav government shows, there is a 50% vacancy in teacher posts in UP, where will the children of the poor get education?)
Fact: Modi is partially right.
As many as 23% teacher posts in elementary grades (up to Class 8) and 50% posts in secondary schools ( Class 9 and Class 10) are vacant in Uttar Pradesh, IndiaSpend reported in December 2016.
Of six million teaching positions in government schools nationwide, about 900,000 elementary school teaching positions and 100,000 in secondary schools — put together, a million — are vacant, according to data tabled on December 5, 2016 in the Lok Sabha.
Teacher vacancy in UP is the second worst in India for secondary schools and sixth worst for elementary schools.
States with most teacher vacancies
“Hindustan mein sabse jyada..daliton par atyachaar agar kahin hote hai, to us pradesh ka naam hai Uttar Pradesh.” (If there is a region in India where crimes against lower castes are the highest, it is Uttar Pradesh)
Fact: Modi’s claim is wrong.
Though crimes against Scheduled Castes (SCs) were the highest in UP at 8,358 cases, with 8,460 people affected in 2015, UP’s crime rate, or crime per 100,000 SC population, was 20, less than Gujarat (26), Madhya Pradesh (37) and Goa (51), according to data from the National Crimes Records Bureau.
As many as 11 states and a Union Territory registered worse crime rates against SCs than UP.
Among the other large states, Rajasthan registered the highest crime rate against dalits: 57 crimes per 100,000 SC population, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 52, Bihar at 39, Chhattisgarh at 31 and Maharashtra at 14.
While the crime rate in Gujarat has always been above 25 per 100,000 SC population, it has always been below 20 per 100,000 SC population in UP.
The crime rate against dalits in UP consistently fell during the tenure of former chief minister Mayawati and gradually increased during the tenure of current chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
“Uttar Pradesh mein kisano ki paidavar sirf 3% khareedi jaati hai” (Government procures only 3% of the farm produce in UP).
Fact: The figure quoted by Modi is right for wheat but wrong for rice.
Government agencies, such as the Food Corporation of India and state government agencies, procured 2.5% of wheat produced in UP in 2014-15 and 10.5% of rice produced that year in the state. Most of the farm output was sold by farmers to traders and commission agents in agriculture produce markets (APMCs).
“In Chhattisgarh, procurement of 60% of farm produce is done by the government at the minimum support price (MSP). In Madhya Pradesh, too, 60% is bought by the government, while Haryana is at 70% and Rajasthan at 50%,” Modi said.
The figures are true for Chhattisgarh for rice, close to reality for Madhya Pradesh for wheat, and close for both rice and wheat in Haryana.
Modi was wrong about Rajasthan. Rajasthan farmers sold 18% of their wheat to government procurement agencies in 2014-15, not 50% as the PM claimed.
“Humne aisi Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana laaye hai ki agar prakrutik karano se kisan buaai nahin kar paaya, to bhi usko bima milega. Aisi koi yojana dekhi hai?” (We started such a crop insurance scheme–named Prime Ministers’ Crop Insurance Scheme – where, even if natural reasons affect the crop at sowing, the farmer will be insured. Has anybody seen such a scheme before?).
Fact: Modi stretched the truth.
While the PM claimed that this is the first time crops are being insured against weather-related vagaries, an earlier insurance scheme had a sub-scheme named Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS), which was limited to some geographical regions but insured crops against drought, excess rains and even frost.
The crop-insurance spending included three parts: National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS), Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and WBCIS.
The PM Fasal Bima Yojana amalgamates two old schemes, NAIS and MNAIS. WBCIS is still distinct from the PM Fasal Bima Yojana.
The WBCIS component was piloted in 2003 for the summer crop and in 2008 for the winter crop. The Modi government spent more than Rs 1,000 crore in its first two years 2014-15 and 2015-16 on WBCIS even before Fasal Bima Yojana was rolled out.
The government, under PM Modi, more than doubled the spending on crop insurance to Rs 13,200 crore – the highest ever–in 2016-17 (revised estimate), to cater to increased crop failures after consecutive drought years. The spending in 2017-18 is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore.
“Jahaan BJP ki sarkarein hai, chahe Gujarat ho, Maharashtra ho, Haryana ho, Rajasthan ho, Chhattisgarh ho, Jharkhand ho…wahaan 60-70% kisanonka (fayda) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana se ho chuka hai..aur Uttar Pradesh..sirf teen percent kisanonka bima hua” (In BJP-ruled states, about 60-70% farmers have benefitted from Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, while only 3% farmers in UP have benefitted).
Fact: Modi is correct on the data for Maharashtra and Rajasthan, while he exaggerated the numbers for Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He is wrong about farmers who benefitted from the Fasal Bima Yojana in UP.
In Modi’s home state of Gujarat – a state with one of the highest rain deficits in the largely ‘normal’ monsoon of 2016, as IndiaSpend reported in October 2016 – a fourth of farmers have benefitted from the flagship crop-insurance scheme, not 60-70% as Modi claimed.
Abhishek Waghmare is an analyst with IndiaSpend.