Modi Guarantees “Vikas for Corporates, Suicide for Farmers” — SKM


  • April 15, 2024
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Without reversing the pro-corporate agricultural policy, ensuring remunerative price to farmers and minimum wage to farm workers, and announcing loan waiver to free farmers from indebtedness, the Modi Guarantee will only facilitate Vikas for corporates and cause widespread suicides of farmers and farm workers.

 

Groundxero | April 15, 2024

 

Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday strongly criticised the election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for making no mention on farmers’ demand of Swaminathan Commission recommended MSP@C2+50% with guaranteed procurement, and called the manifesto an “open challenge” to farmers and farm workers.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the BJP’s manifesto titled “Modi ki Guarantee 2024” for the Lok Sabha election on April 14. The Manifesto talks about a continuing increase in minimum support prices (MSPs) of crops from “time to time” without any reference to inflation and price rise. The Manifesto also promised to provide “sustained financial support for our farmers” through the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, without specifying whether or by how much the current Rs 6,000 annual transfer under the scheme will be raised. The Manifesto is silent on issue of addressing farmer’s suicide and their demand of loan waiver.

 

In a statement issued on Monday, the SKM, which had spearheaded the farmers’ protests of 2020-21, said “The PM Samman Nidhi of Rs. 6000 per year means a meagre Rs 500 per month to a farmer household. Though 1,00,474 farmers and 3,12,214 daily wage workers – total 4,12,688 persons – have committed suicide during 2014-2022, the Modi Government did not provide debt relief of a single rupee to farmer and farm worker households despite the promise BJP made in the 2014 election manifesto.”

 

SKM said that while in the context of the countrywide farmers struggle, other political parties in their election manifesto have been categorical on the need of remunerative MSP as recommended by Swaminathan commission; the BJP manifesto deliberate silence on the acute agrarian crisis is very significant.

 

The farmers has been demanding loan waivers, pointing out that 30 farmers’ suicide happens daily across India, triggered mainly by indebtedness. SKM said that the manifesto is silent on loan waiver to indebted farmers, however, during the last nine financial years under the Modi rule, i.e. from FY 2014-15 to FY 2022-23, the scheduled commercial Banks have “written off an aggregate loan amount of Rs. 14.55 lakh crore to the corporate houses”

 

SKM said that without reversing the pro-corporate agricultural policy, ensuring remunerative price to farmers and minimum wage to farm workers, and announcing loan waiver to free farmers from indebtedness, “the Modi Guarantee will only facilitate Vikas for corporates and cause widespread suicides of farmers and farm workers.”

 

The SKM declared that it considers the BJP’s election manifesto 2024 as an open challenge against the farmers and farm workers across India and the farmers’ unions will reply by intensifying the campaign — Expose, Oppose, and Punish BJP. It has called its state level coordination committees to locally plan the forms of campaign and ways to reach out maximum villages and people to discuss the importance of solving the agrarian crisis and the necessity to protect the livelihood of farmers and farm workers as part of the election agenda 2024.

 

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