Modi accuses Congress of shedding crocodile tears for farmers

Mirzapur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused the Congress, as well as and other opposition parties, of shedding crocodile tears for farmers and said several irrigation projects in the country had languished in its rule.

Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating the Bansagar canal project and laying foundation stone of Mirzapur medical college here, he said the BJP-led government looked at the pending irrigation projects throughout the country after assuming office in 2014.

“Those who are shedding crocodile tears for farmers these days, you should ask them why they could not see the pending irrigation projects throughout the nation during their rule,” he said, adding that people suffered as previous governments did not complete projects on time.

Referring to the Bansagar project, he said it had been first conceptualized about four decades ago and the foundation stone was laid in 1978 but the project was unduly delayed.

He said project would have cost around Rs 300 crore if completed on its original schedule but it had now cost Rs 3,500 crore.

“The Bansagar project will not just provide irrigation in Mirzapur but also 1.5 lakh hectares of this whole area including Allahabad,” Modi said.

He said the project will provide a big boost to irrigation in the region and noted that both the BJP-led government and the Yogi Adityanath government in the state were giving a lot of attention to development of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

He also listed the steps taken by his government for farmers including hike in the minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops and said all efforts were being made to double the income of farmers in the next four years.

“Where there will be surety of medicine for the poor, irrigation for farmer, education for children, employment for youth, where there will be a lot of facilities and system will be honest, we are moving towards such New India,” Modi said.

He said his government has taken several measures to provide affordable healthcare to the poor, including Jan Aushadhi Kendras.

“These Jan Aushadi Kendras are becoming a much-larger support of poor, lower-middle class. More than 700 medicines in these centres and over half a hundred surgeries are available at cheap prices,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the Swachh Bharat Mission is also proving effective in controlling disease. He said the health insurance scheme — Ayushman Bharat — would be rolled out soon and also spoke of other social welfare schemes of the Central government.

Modi had arrived in Mirzapur on Sunday, on the second day of his visit to Uttar Pradesh.

The Bansagar canal project would help at least 1.70 lakh farmers of both Mirzapur and Allahabad with the irrigation sector receiving a huge boost. A joint venture of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the canal is 171 km long.

He also inaugurated 100 Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadi Kendras and a bridge over the Ganga river.