Claim pro-farmer reforms, but no data on their suicides: TMC attacks Centre
Firing fresh salvo at the Centre, the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal attacked the Narendra Modi-led government for claiming to champion pro-farmer reforms through the agricultural bills passed in the Rajya Sabha, but drawing a blank when questioned about the farmer suicides.
“@narendramodi ji’s regime is making a mockery of our nation! They fail to record the no. of farmer suicides in their reign and then claim to implement Pro-Farmer laws, while thwarting every rule in Parliament. We’ll not stay quiet & take this battle head-on! #WeStandForDemocracy,” tweeted Abhishek Banerjee, chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamool MP.
This comes two days after G Kishan Reddy, union minister of state for home affairs, had informed the Rajya Sabha that national data on causes of suicide in farming sector was untenable and not published separately, as many states and union territories had reported ‘Nil’ data to the National Crime Records Bureau.
In a counter offensive, a delegation of the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to apprise him of the TMC’s alleged double standards on the issues related to the contentious farm bills that were passed in the Rajya Sabha.
“The price of potato in West Bengal has shot up because of the middlemen backed by the TMC. While farmers are selling potatoes at Rs 8–Rs 10 per kilo, in the markets each kilo of potato is being sold at Rs 30–Rs 40 per kilo. The TMC will never act against these middlemen as the money is going to the party’s coffers. While farmers are being cheated, the chief minister is spreading lies against the farm bills,” said Jai Prakash Majumdar, state vice president of BJP, who led the delegation to Raj Bhavan.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had condemned the farm bills passed in the Upper House of Parliament on Sunday and had said that these bills would trigger a food pandemic in the country and wipe off small and marginal farmers.
The TMC has already started staging protests since Tuesday in Kolkata against the farm bills. While on Tuesday, the party’s women wing led by Chadrima Bhattacharya, minister of state for health in West Bengal, staged a protest in central Kolkata, on Wednesday the youth wing took out a rally.
On September 9, Banerjee had written to the Centre that she was open to implementation of the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme for farmers if the funds were transferred directly to her government for disbursement.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, however, criticised the state government, saying that funds for Central welfare schemes go directly to the beneficiaries and not routed through the state.