Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday took a swipe at the Opposition for criticising his government's farmers' income plan, saying people sitting in air-conditioned rooms in Delhi do not know the importance of Rs 6000 for a poor farmer living in distant and difficult areas and also alleged that the Congress party has used loan-waivers to win elections.
To woo distressed farmers ahead of the general elections, the Centre has in the Interim Budget announced direct income support of Rs 6,000 per year to those holding cultivable land up to two hectare.
Speaking at the inauguration and laying of foundation schemes of various schemes, Modi said, Leh and Ladakh will also be benefited by this.
"Most of farmers here fill this criteria and will get Rs 6000 annually. It will be disbursed in three installments and first installment will reach soon. I will be sending guidelines to state government Sunday," he said.
Modi said during his days as a BJP worker in the region he used to get demands from people in Delhi to bring vegetables from Leh because of their quality.
"Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a phenomenal scheme for farmers. People sitting in air conditioned rooms in Delhi do not know what Rs 6,000 mean for a poor farmer living in distant and difficult areas of the country," he said.
Modi was in Leh to launch the first-ever university in Ladakh region.
It will be a cluster university comprising degree colleges of Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, Drass and Khaltsi having administrative offices at Leh and Kargil.
Attacking the Congress over its promise of farm loan waiver, Modi said that the party uses the measure only to win elections.
The Congress had promised to waive farmers' loans worth Rs 6 lakh crore in 2008-09, but it gave a loan relief of Rs 52,000 crore only after coming to power, he claimed.
"CAG report found that about 25-30 lakh people who got loan waiver were not even eligible for it," Modi said at a rally at Vijaypur here.
Ridiculing the loan waivers given by the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, the prime minister said some beneficiaries have been given cheques of Rs 13 only.
He said under his direct benefit transfer PM-KISAN scheme, Rs 75,000 crore will be allocated annually. It means Rs 7.50 lakh crore will be deposited in farmers' accounts in the next 10 years.
The scheme aims to cover 90 per cent of the farmers who have less than five acres of land. Rs 6,000 will be transferred to their accounts annually in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 each, he said.
"People know the track record of the country's 'naamdar'. They get 'fever' of loan waivers just before elections... They try to act as 'messiah' of farmers by announcing farm loan waivers once in 10 years," he said referring to the UPA rule.
Ironically, the BJP had also announced loan waivers for farmers in Uttar Pradesh ahead of assembly elections in 2017.
After assuming power, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced loan waivers of up to Rs 1 lakh relating to small and marginal farmers.
Referring to Kashmiri Pandits, the prime minister said the central government is committed to respect and give dignity to the displaced community.
"The pain that they had to undergo, they had to leave their homeland. I have never said this but their pain is within me too," he said.