Accusing the Congress and other parties of shedding "crocodile tears" for farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked why development and irrigation projects across the country were neglected during their rule.
Addressing a public meeting here after inaugurating the Bansagar canal project and laying the foundation stone of the Mirzapur medical college, he said those doing politics in the name of farmers, did not have the time to think about an effective hike in minimum support prices (MSPs).
"This is not the matter of Bansagar alone. Such 'atke, latke and bhatke' (stuck up, pending and derailed) projects pertaining to farmers' welfare can be found in different states. They never had any concern. Why were such projects left incomplete?" he asked.
These projects pertaining to irrigation, health and transportation will bring a positive change in people's lives, he said.
Because of these delays the people had suffered for decades, he added.
"The Bansagar project worth Rs 3,500 crore will benefit Mirzapur, Allahabad and adjoining areas by providing irrigation to 1.5 lakh hectares of land. Had this project been completed earlier, the benefits which you would get now, would have reached almost two decades ago," he said.
Almost two decades have been lost, he rued.
"The previous governments did not bother about the farmers. The framework of the project was drawn almost 40 years ago. In 1978, the foundation of the project was laid, but work actually started after 20 years. Governments came and went, but on this project, there were only talks and promises and the people here did not get anything," Modi said.
The prime minister, who addressed rallies in Azamgarh and his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi yesterday, said he had dedicated several development projects and introduced new schemes in the past two days.
Charging the opposition parties with neglecting projects, Modi said the Bansagar project would have cost only Rs 300 crore at one time, but now it will be a whopping Rs 3,500 crore due to higher cost of inputs.
Modi lauded the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, saying, since Yogi Adityanath has taken charge, the eastern zone was being paid adequate attention and development work in Purvanchal region accelerated.
The area between the Vindhyas and the Bhagirathi has been a centre of immense potential for centuries, he added.
"This area has divine powers. Last time in March when French President Emmanuel Macron had come here with me for the inauguration of a solar plant, we were welcomed with a picture of Goddess Vindhyavasini and a 'chunri' (sacred cloth).
"An overwhelmed Macron wanted to know the divine powers of the presiding deity and when I narrated the glory of the goddess, he was awestruck. All-round development of this area, which is a symbol of faith and tradition, is our commitment," Modi said.
The day is not very far when farmers will get double their present income, he said.
"There are people who are shedding crocodile tears in the name of the farmers. MSP used to be declared earlier too, but no purchases were made. Similarly, there were advertisements and photographs of support price in the newspaper, credit taken, but nothing went to the homes of the farmers. Files suggesting hike in MSP used to gather dust," he said.
Citing a global report which stated that in the last two years nearly five crore Indians had come out of extreme poverty, Modi said the government is moving towards fulfilling the dream of Apna Dal (S) stalwart Sonelal Patel.
Modi also inaugurated 100 Jan Aushadhi Kendras besides dedicating a bridge over the River Ganga at Balughat, Chunar, connecting Mirzapur and Varanasi.
Modi's visit to eastern UP's Mirzapur, a stronghold of BJP ally Apna Dal (S), is being seen as a sign of further cementing of the ties between the two NDA partners.
After Mirzapur, Modi is likely to visit Shahjahanpur on July 21 to address a Kisan Kalyan rally there.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)