Kejriwal accuses BJP govt of betraying farmers amid widespread protests
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal alleged Friday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "stabbed farmers in the back" by not fulfilling the promises made to them and warned him that they would "wreak havoc" in 2019 general elections if those promises are not kept.
The AAP chief joined several leaders from opposition parties at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, where thousands of farmers from across the country have gathered to press for their demands, including debt relief and remunerative prices for their produce.
In his address at the venue, Kejriwal claimed that the Centre had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying it would not implement the M S Swaminathan Commission report.
"The government had made a number of promises to farmers in the last election (2014), but it has not fulfilled those promises. By not implementing the Swaminathan Commission report, Modi ji has stabbed the farmers in the back ('kisano ke peeth mey chhura bhonka hai')," he alleged.
He said the Union government should implement the report in five months.
"The affidavit filed in the court should be withdrawn and the report should be implemented, otherwise, farmers would wreak havoc in 2019 elections ('kisan agle election mey qayamat dhah denge')," he said.
"The debt of farmers should be waived and they should get the full price for their produce. Farmers are not asking for alms, they are demanding their right. If farmers get the full price of their produce, they would not come back to ask for waiving their loans," he said.
Kejriwal said though the government assigns a Minimum Support Price, no one actually buys their produce at that rate.
"The Fasal Beema Yojna is fraud and is cheating farmers. The insurance companies withdraw money from farmers without their permission and thousands of crores have been withdrawn in this manner. When farmers lose their produce, these companies impose a condition that compensation would be given only if 70 per cent of the produce has been destroyed," he claimed.
"This insurance scheme should be stopped as it is BJP's daka (dacoity) yojana and instead kisan muawza yojna (farmers compensation scheme) must be brought in to give them the right compensation. A country whose farmers are starving can never witness development," he said.
Kejriwal demanded that farmers be compensated within two months if their produce is destroyed.
He alleged that the prime minister was showing concern only for corporates and was not worried about the agrarian distress. "If you do not address their (farmers') concerns, then next time ask for votes also from Adani and Ambani, do not ask farmers to vote for you," Kejriwal said.
Modi has said he was not afraid of being seen with industrialists who are playing a key role in the nation's development as his "intentions" are clear.
(With inputs from agencies.)