Hitting out at the Congress and the Left parties for “politicising” the farmers’ agitation in Madhya Pradesh, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said it was done only to “tarnish” the image of the NDA government which was celebrating three years in office. “The Congress is disgruntled and frustrated at the success of the NDA government and unnecessarily politicising and instigating violence in Mandsaur, the scene of the farmers’ stir,” Naidu told reporters here.
These parties were at the game earlier also like exploiting the Dadri incident during Uttar Pradesh elections, a conversion issue during Jharkhand polls, he said, adding that the Congress was frustrated as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was becoming a tall leader in the world. He said the Congress and other parties which ruled along with it for the last 50 years, including the DMK, had neglected the farmers’ issues.
The Housing and Urban Development minister said the NDA government had taken both short-term and long-term measures for the benefit of ryots like providing rural roads, loan waiver, crop insurance, cold storage and marketing facilities.
Asked if Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan could be held responsible for the firing in Mandsaur, Naidu said this was done by local authorities and Chouhan had nothing to do with it. Stating that he was not justifying the death of farmers in the firing, which was a sad thing, he said the Congress was forgetting that “24 farmers died in a police firing under the then Congress rule in Betul district in that state in 1998 and Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Communists were silent then”.
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In fact, the agriculture sector growth in Madhya Pradesh was 20 per cent as against national average of four per cent, which was highest among the states in India, even not recorded in other BJP-ruled states, he said. Attributing the price problem to the increasing production, he said the government has already accepted 11 demands of the farmers and even before discussion, the Congress “instigated” the violence, leading to the firing, into which a judicial inquiry has already been ordered.
On deciding the candidate for the Presidential polls, Naidu said the NDA will “sit and discuss”. However, it wanted a consensus candidate for the president’s post, he said.
To an allegation that the BJP was remote-controlling the AIADMK, he said, “you mean the BJP is behind all the three factions. Then the BJP will be behind the DMK, the MDMK and all other parties.” Naidu said he wanted the AIADMK MLAs to remain together, to uphold the legacy of late Jayalalithaa on whose name they were elected.