In a dig at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s move on the farmers’ issue, Union Food and Consumers Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday said the Congress could do little for the farmers during its stint in power for two terms at the Centre.
“We have done more for the farmers’ welfare in past one year that the UPA government could do during its decade-long rule at the Centre (in two terms),” he told reporters replying to a question.
Paswan’s comments came in the backdrop of Rahul having raised the farmers’ issues in Parliament and outside after coming out of nearly two months’ sabbatical last month.
Claiming that NDA government had lived up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to the farmers to provide them generous compensation in lieu of crop damages due to natural calamities, Paswan said the Centre has already directed giving minimum support price for procurement of harvest from them.
In the event of crop damage due to unseasonal rains or other vagaries of nature, it has been decided to compensate the farmers by scaling down extent of damage by 33 per cent against the earlier 50 per cent, Paswan said, adding that compensation amount too has been hiked substantially by one and a half times higher than the previous amount.
On the distribution of ex-gratia to the kin of those killed in Bihar quake, Paswan claimed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was taking credit for disbursal of Rs 4 lakh to those families.
In fact, it’s the Centre that deserves all credit for expenditious distribution of ex-gratia among the kins of quake victims, he said, adding, the NDA government has provided an additional Rs 2 lakh to those families.
However, the Chief Minister was trying to walk away with the credit, Paswan, who heads the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), an ally of BJP at the Centre and in Bihar, claimed.
The Union Minister also mocked at the JD(U) and RJD for its failure to sew up merger saying that the ‘deadline’ in this regard has elapsed. The said merger will never take place due to contradictions among the Janata Parivar constitutents, he said.
Paswan was speaking to reporters on sidelines of his inspection at the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) at its state unit office in the industrial area in the state capital.