Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said some people from Maharashtra only did politics in the name of farmers, in comments aimed at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) founder Sharad Pawar, who handled the agriculture portfolio during the UPA government.
Modi said his government was committed to farmer welfare and pointed out that cultivators are now getting minimum support price (MSP) money for their products directly in their bank accounts.
PM Modi inaugurates development projects
The PM was speaking at an event in the temple town of Shirdi after inaugurating several development projects.
“… A senior leader of Maharashtra served as the country's agriculture minister. I personally respect him, but what has he done for farmers?” PM Modi said, without naming Pawar.
Modi said when Pawar was the Union agriculture minister, farmers had to be at the mercy of middlemen.
He underlined that the welfare of the poor is the highest priority of the double-engine government and informed about increasing the budget for the same as the country’s economy is expanding.
1.10 crore Ayushman cards distributed in Maharashtra: PM Modi
The PM also mentioned distributing 1.10 crore Ayushman cards to beneficiaries in Maharashtra who will receive health insurance up to ₹5 lakh where the government is spending ₹70,000 crore. While stating that the government spends ₹4 lakh crore each for providing free ration to the poor and constructing pucca houses for them, the PM also pointed out that the said expenditure is six times more than what it was in the decade before 2014.
He inaugurated, dedicated to the nation and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth about ₹7500 crore in sectors like health, rail, road, oil and gas. They include Ayush Hospital at Ahmednagar civil hospital; electrification of Kurduwadi-Latur Road railway section (186 Km); third and fourth railway lines connecting Jalgaon to Bhusaval (24.46 km); four laning of Sangli to Borgaon section of NH-166 (Package-I); additional facilities at Manmad Terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited; foundation stone of the Maternal & Child Health Wing at Ahmednagar Civil Hospital; also distributed Ayushman cards and Svamitva cards to beneficiaries; new Darshan Queue complex at Shirdi; the left bank (85km) canal network of the Nilwande Dam, and the ‘Namo Shetkari Mahasanman Nidhi Yojana’ benefitting more than 86 lakh farmer-beneficiaries.
He paid tribute to the Baba Maharaj and recalled his work of social awareness by Kirtan and Pravachan which will keep on inspiring the generations to come.Throwing light on the Nilwande project which was approved in 1970 and had been pending for 5 decades, the Prime Minister highlighted that it came to completion only after the present government came to power.
“Those doing vote politics in the name of farmers have made you yearn for every drop of water”, he interjected, “Today Jal Pujan was performed here.” He mentioned that the Right Bank Canal will soon become operational. He also touched upon the Baliraja Jal Sanjeevani Yojana which is also proving to be a boon for the drought-affected areas of the state. He underlined that the central government is working towards completing 26 more irrigation projects in Maharashtra that have been pending for decades which will be of great benefit to the farmers in the region.