Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday lashed out at the outgoing Congress-NCP government, accusing it of neglecting farmers in the state, particularly in the Vidarbha region.
Addressing a rally at Dhaman-gaon Railway in Amravati, Modi blamed the Prithvitaj Chavan-led government for the “agrarian mess” in the region that has led to several farmers suicides. Amravati and neighbouring Yavatmal have recorded the highest number of such cases.
“Does a farmer ask for a car or a bungalow? A farmer only asks for water. If he gets water, a farmer can reap gold from the soil,” he said, hitting out at the state for denying farmers irrigation facilities. “It is very unfortunate that a farmer who offers orange juice to the country through this produce, is forced to consume poison.”
At another public meeting at Bramhapuri, paddy growers of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli were promised a better deal by the PM, if the BJP is voted to power. “If farmers get better remunerative prices, suicides in the Vidarbha region will end. Farmers want better prices for their produce and irrigation for their farms. The BJP is committed to provide both things,” he said. “I want to treat farmers in Maharashtra at par with those in Chhattisgarh.”
Farmers and tribal communities in the Chandrapur and Gadchiroli belt have long been suffering because of the lack of development in the region, he said. “If the BJP comes to power, we will carry out welfare activities for the tribals,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister, who had made a night halt in Nagpur on Thursday and flew in to address rallies for nine BJP candidates in Chandrapur and Gadchiroli using an IAF helicopter on Friday morning, was barely able to speak for nine minutes because of a sore throat. He told BJP workers he had developed throat complications in the morning, apologising to them for not being able to speak in full vigour.