Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today blamed the Congress for instigating farmers in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh where five people were killed in police firing. The protests were being hijacked by the Congress, Naidu said a day after the violence. Farmers in the area have been protesting since June 1 demanding higher minimum support prices (MSP) for their produce among other things. “It is a very sad turn of events in a state that is the most peaceful state in India. Congress is trying to politicise farmers’ problems after they failed to counter Shivraj Singh Chouhan politically in the state,” Naidu said on the sidelines of a function. He said Madhya Pradesh was amongst the best performing states on all counts and Chouhan one of the BJP’s best chief ministers. “Because of his initiatives in the country 20 per cent of farmers in the country are in MP… he has encouraged them, has got them land and electricity. Because of this their production has increased. They might not be getting ideal price for their crops and they are protesting against that, sure, and the state government is addressing these issues, Congress is politicising it,” said Naidu.
Naidu, the minister for information and broadcasting as well as urban development, warned the Congress against fuelling violence. “I saw news reports that farmers have burnt vehicles and destroyed railway tracks. Farmers never resort to this kind of violence. I just want to warn the Congress not to fuel violence in the name of farmers. It will boomerang on you. Whatever the condition of farmers across the country is because of the long years of neglect of the agricultural sector by you (Congress),” he said. The minister went on to list pro-farmer initiatives of the BJP-led government at the centre, including the Pradhan Mantri Bima Fasal Yojana (new crop insurance scheme), the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojana (irrigation scheme), the health card plan and the waiving of loans for farmers.
The problems would take time to solve but the government was committed to addressing them, Naidu said. “The PM has ordered an enquiry and the truth will come out. I ask the Congress why they want instant solution to farmers’ problems in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh when they have no solution for farmers in Congress-ruled Karnataka?”