The Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government of misleading farmers regarding the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme.
“BJP is repeatedly saying the farmers of West Bengal are being deprived of cash under this scheme. That is not true. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked the Centre to route the cash benefits through the state government and not directly to the farmers,” said TMC MP Sougata Roy.
“The intention of the Modi government is to reap political benefits,” he added.
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The statements came hours after PM Modi said 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 PM and said that he has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to join the central scheme.
TMC’s opposition to farm laws
The ruling party in West Bengal had earlier come out in support of the farmers protesting at Delhi borders. The party had earlier this month even organised a three-day-long sit-in demonstration against the new farm laws and demanded that the “anti-people” legislation should be withdrawn immediately.
Echoing the party’s stance, Sougata Roy said on Friday that the new farm legislations will help corporates and usher in contract farming in the country.
“The Union government used “brute majority” in Parliament to pass the new farm bills, which also deleted potato and onion from the essential commodities list,” he said.
“This is causing the price rise of potatoes and onions in the market, which is becoming difficult for the state governments to control,” the senior TMC leader added.
According to Roy, the West Bengal government, under its ‘Krishak Bandhu’ scheme, has disbursed ₹2,642 crore to farmers of the state and budgetary allocation to the farming sector increased five times.