NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday accused the Narendra Modi-led government in the Centre of betraying the farmers by banning the export of sugar and revoking the subsidy for sugarcane-growers.
Addressing a campaign rally for Maharashtra Assembly polls here, Pawar said, “BJP, during the campaign for Lok Sabha elections, promised good days ahead. People voted for BJP and Narendra Modi has become the Prime Minister. But in the last three months, the Modi government has stabbed the farmers in the back by stopping the export of sugar and revoking the subsidy to the cane growers.”
The former union agriculture minister claimed that farmers in Uttar Pradesh realised this, and that was why BJP bit the dust in that state in the recent by-elections.
On the Centre’s decision to hike the minimum support price by Rs. 10 per quintal, Pawar said, during his tenure as the union minister, MSP was raised by as much as Rs. 150. “Farmers are not beggars to be satisfied with this meagre hike of Rs. 10,” he said.
Pawar also reminded the audience that UPA government had granted a loan waiver of Rs. 70,000 crore for the farmers, which was an unparallelled move.
Referring to Modi’s jibe that Pawar was scared of contesting Lok Sabha election this time and opted for Rajya Sabha membership instead, the NCP chief said, “Modi may not know that I have contested 14 elections, seven each for Assembly and Lok Sabha, so far and got elected.”
On the breaking of alliance with Congress, Pawar alleged that the state Congress leaders did not want it to continue, and they declared the first list of candidates even when the seat-sharing talks were underway.
Pawar did not criticise Shiv Sena in his speech, while targeting both BJP and Congress.