The Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Jyotiradtiya Scindia on Thursday set a deadline for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to fulfil their five-point charter of demands to ameliorate the condition of farmers, failing which he would be compelled to intensify his campaign on farmers’ issues in Madhya Pradesh.
Addressing the third major farmers’ rally in Chambal region at Ashok Nagar, Scindia said the state government should waive electricity bills and loan of farmers. He also said the entire state should be declared drought-hit, farmers should be provided fertilisers and seeds in advance of the rabi season and relief works should be immediately undertaken.
Describing the state and the Central governments as anti-farmer, he said chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called himself a priest and farmers as his god, but at a time when the state was reeling with drought, not even patwaris had the time to reach out to them. “I have visited the families of all the farmers in my constituency who have committed suicide but no minister, bureaucrat or even a patwari had reached out to them,” he said.
Ashok Nagar, part of the Guna constituency Scindia represents, saw farmers turning up in hordes at his rally and vocally supporting Scindia as he pointed out the state government’s shortcomings in available electricity, fertilisers and water to farmers.
Scindia also lauded the farmers for being instrumental in the growth of India, such that it now held a position of distinction in the fraternity of nations, adding that any government that was indifferent towards them could not stay in power for long.
He also took pot shots on the Modi government’s slogan “achhe din (good days)” and said the government has translated into reality a popular Hindi proverb — “ghar ki murgi dal barabar but eating chicken is not viable either because it requires onions and that too is out of people’s (budget).”
Referring to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s achievements, he said instead of just coining slogans like “BJP ka kehna saaf, har kisan ka karja maaf,” the party in power should learn how farmers’ loans are waived from Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, who had made sure that their loan to the tune of Rs 72,000 crore was waived off.