The Hindu (Mumbai)

Sharad Pawar blasts Modi for increase in farmer suicides

- Shoumojit Banerjee

Nationalis­t Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday hit back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s recent allegation­s of him being an “ineffectua­l” Union Agricultur­e Minister, remarking instead that while Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to double the farmers’ income, it was the number of farmer suicides that had increased significan­tly during the BJP’s tenyear reign at the Centre.

Mr. Pawar, the former Union Agricultur­e Minister in the erstwhile Congressle­d United Progressiv­e Alliance government, was targeted by Mr. Shah at the latter’s rally in Sambhajina­gar earlier this week.

The NCP leader, who was holding a rally in Lonavala (part of the Maval Lok Sabha), lambasted the PM’s tall assurances which came to nothing on ground.

“PM Modi promised to increase the farmers’ income by twofold. Has it increased? The only thing that has increased is farmer suicides. Is this Mr. Modi’s guarantee? Last year, farmers from Punjab and Haryana camped near Delhi’s gates for a year, enduring Delhi’s bitter cold and extreme heat….this PM can only give hollow assurances,” Mr. Pawar said.

The 83yearold NCP leader also lauded his INDIA bloc ally and Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, while censuring PM Modi’s ad hominem attacks on Ms. Banerjee during his Bengal visit.

“During his speech in West Bengal, PM Modi criticised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was an MP for 25 years and has been a Union Minister for five years. People have repeatedly voted for her, and give the reins of the state to her with great respect. The PM should be proud of her, but he criticises her instead. This does not fit within the parameters of parliament­ary democracy,” Mr. Pawar said.

 ?? ?? NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

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