Yechury criticises PM, BJP over suicides by farmers

Nashik: CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury today launched a broadside against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused him of being “insensitive” towards the plight of farmers who are committing suicide over various agrarian issues.

Addressing a farmers’ rally here, Yechury took a swipe at Modi over his “Assam tea” remark and said he was not aware of the sufferings of tea plantation workers in the north-eastern state.

He dubbed as “anti-farmer and pro-industrialists” the policies of BJP-led central and Maharashtra governments.

“Our farmers who are our ‘annadata’ are struggling for their life as their suicides are on rise. However, government is not taking any steps to protect them as it is ready to import foodgrains from abroad instead of assisting our farmers,” the CPI(M) leader said.

Thousands of farmers from across the state attended the rally organised by the Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha, affiliated to the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS).

The farmers launched an indefinite sit-in protest on various agrarian issues including loan waiver, fair and remunerative price, drought relief, electricity bills etc, at Anant Kanhere ground in the city.

The farmers are demanding proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) and forest land, pasture land and temple land to be vested in the name of the actual tillers (owners).

The farmers later marched to district collectorate.

“Government is ready to purchase wheat from farmers at Rs 1,185 per quintal whereas the production cost of wheat per acre is Rs 1,800 per quintal. CPI(M) is pressing the government for the price at Rs 2,400 per quintal,” Yechury said in his address.

“In Assam electioneering, Modi said that he enjoys Assam tea. But, he does not know that labourers working in tea gardens there are drawing salary of Rs 3,000 per month. Now, the tea labourers have started committing suicide due to these problems,” the CPI(M) general secretary said.

He said the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government waived Rs 72,000 crore loan of farmers due to the protest by the Left.

“There are no ‘achhe din’ (good days) for farmers. It’s time that Modi drop the ‘acche din’ slogan,” he said, adding that time has come to sing old Bollywood song “Koi Lauta de Mere Bite Huye Din” (Some body bring back my old days).

Referring to the imposition of President’s rule in Uttarakhand, Yechury said, “The BJP has chalked out a new plan to end the rule of State by imposing President’s rule as the party will have no impact in the poll-bound states of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. BJP’s stock is falling now,” he said.

Yechury took a jibe at Modi over his pre-poll promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad and his foreign trips as Prime Minister.

“Considering Modi’s 38 foreign tours within one year, if his government could not bring back the black money, it should at least bring back our Prime Minister from abroad to solve various problems affecting farmers,” Yechury added.