Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi donned farmer’s shoes here on Monday, talking about farmers’ suicides and the problems of the farm sector as he inaugurated the first-ever Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit.
Farmers were brought in from 29 states and two union territories to showcase Modi as a national leader. With Denmark as the global partner, the event held in a huge auditorium with giant screens to flash the proceedings was as hi-tech as any Modi event. Modi also stressed on the need for using cutting-edge technology in agriculture, and employing high-yield seeds to enhance productivity.
Attacking the UPA, he claimed his suggestions to the Prime Minister for farmers’ and consumers’ welfare had fallen on deaf ears. Modi also used the occasion to claim Sardar Patel’s legacy, describing the latter as “Kisan-Putra” (farmers’ son). A short film on the proposed “Statue of Unity” dedicated to Patel marked the occasion. The proposed statue at 182 metres would be the tallest in the world.
He claimed to have suggested to the Prime Minister that waste from 500 towns be treated to make fertilisers. “The PM just said it was a good idea,” Modi said.
Modi comes in for praise
Madhya Pradesh agriculture minister Ramkrishna Kusmariya obliquely pitched for Narendra Modi as the BJP’s PM candidate here on Monday, calling him “India’s future”.
“Gujarat chief minister and India’s future Narendra Modi understands farmers’ pain,” he said at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit here. Kusmariya is minister in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, considered close to LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj and not too pro-Modi.
Present at the meet, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also praised Modi as “great leader of the nation”, adding: “I thank Modi ji on behalf of the farmers of India.” In a speech that drew much applause, Badal, however, also took what some saw as friendly digs at Modi, with whom he is known to get along well.