Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday questioned the opposition parties who have extended their support to the protesting farmers in Delhi but ignored the non-implementation of APMCs in states like Kerala.
“The groups who are talking about mandis, APMC are the ones who destroyed West Bengal and Kerala. There are no APMCs and mandis in Kerala. So, why are there no protests in Kerala? Why don’t they start a movement there? They are only misguiding the farmers of Punjab,” said the PM.
He was addressing the farmers virtually after releasing ₹18,000 crore as the next instalment of financial benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme.
“Those ruling Kerala for years are joining Punjab farmers for selfies, but not doing anything for mandi system in own state,” the PM said. “Farm reforms became necessary because poor farmers, who are over 80%, were getting poorer during rules of previous governments.”
He expressed regret that more than 70 lakh farmers of West Bengal have not been able to avail the benefits of the PM KISAN scheme. “Over 23 lakh farmers of Bengal had applied online to take advantage of this scheme. But the state government stalled the verification process,” he said.
“You never raised your voice for the farmers in Bengal but are supporting protesting farmers from Punjab. In the name of farmers’ protest, political parties are destroying the economy of the nation,” added PM Modi.
After the PM’s address, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that he had written to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee to join the central scheme.
“Except for the West Bengal government, all other states have joined the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. Till now, ₹96,000 crore has been transferred to farmers. In West Bengal, this scheme will benefit 70 lakh farmers. I have written to the West Bengal CM to join this scheme,” said Tomar.