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Elections 2019: No 'Acche Din' Yet For UP's Small Farmers

Several farmers from eastern Uttar Pradesh, including Yogi’s constituency Gorakhpur have not received the promised Rs 2000, more than a month after PM Modi transferred money to bank accounts of 1.01 crore farmers.
Elections 2019: No 'Acche Din' Yet for UP's Small Farmers

Image Courtesy: The Indian Express

The Narendra Modi government's much publicised flagship PM Kisan scheme seems a gloomy promise for most of the farmers of Mahua Bazar of Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh. Almost 85% farmers of this village have not received a single penny of the scheme. It is the same story for the farmers in Gorakhpur, which UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's constituency, where farmers are claiming this scheme to be another jumla (false promise) of the ruling party.

On February 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the PM-Kisan (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi), a cash-transfer scheme, at Gorakhpur. Modi in the presence of Yogi Adityanath electronically transferred Rs 2,000 to the bank accounts of 1.01 crore farmers. Addressing the selected groups of farmers through video conferencing, Modi ridiculed the Opposition for offering 'rewari', implying an insignificant sum.

However, Modi’s action has proved to be nothing more than a political stunt before elections to woo voters. NewsClick spoke to a number of farmers from Eastern Uttar Pradesh and learnt that most farmers in the region have not received the money.

Ibne Qamar, native of Mahua Bazar while speaking to NewsClick said, "Despite fulfilling all formalities of bank and other paper work, I have not received Rs 2,000. For the past one month, we have been visiting the bank every single day to get information about the money but bank officials behave as if we are asking for their kidney. We also paid the money while submitting our files but only 15% people of our village have received the money. I don't know where all the money has gone."

Also Read: PM-KISAN: Why Farmers Are Unhappy With Rs 2,000

Another farmer Mohammad Umar who is the beneficiary of PM-KISAN Scheme was not very pleased with the Modi government. He told NewsClick, "This year we purchased urea (fertiliser) at Rs 400 to 450 per kg, while under the previous government, it was just Rs 280. Shockingly, the government is importing fertilisers from China which is not good for farming. We have also not received our dues for sugarcane since a long time. If we are not paid, how will we pay for the labour charge? Also, the issue of stray cattle is already giving farmers sleepless night and now the government is also disappointing us.”

"When we asked the Lekhpal about why we didn’t receive our money, he told us that only those farmers got the money whose name were on the list. He also said that there will be a survey soon for those people whose names were not included in the initial list but it has been a month and no official has came to us for any survey. In a village if there are hundred houses, only 10 families of the village have received the money," Umar added.

President of the Inquilabi Naujawan Sabha, Rakesh Singh, a resident of Bansgaon, Gorakhpur told NewsClick, "Only those farmers who are registered, received the money. In my village only 20% farmers are registered and even among them, only 2-3% farmers have received the amount. Most of the farmers are not aware about the PM-KISAN Yojana as the government did not run any pubilicity campaign regarding this scheme. In eastern UP, especially in the Gorakhpur region, most farmers have no land for farming or very less land. In such a situation, how will this scheme help small or marginal farmers. In addition, there is no compensation for crops being damaged by hailstorms and rain."

Also Read: Sugarcane Farmers Drown in Debt in Western UP

Changur Gupta from Bansgaon received Rs 2,000 but he will not vote for BJP. He told NewsClick, "I have only 68 decimal (one decimal= 1/100 acre) farm. In this season, I invested around Rs. 8,000  for farming and got only Rs. 2,000, which does not even cover the investment, leave any profit. Farmers are also disturbed with the increasing price of fertilisers."

According to Economic Times, “The government has transferred Rs 5,940 crore as the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to 29.7 million small and marginal farmers across the country. Over one-third of the beneficiaries – 11.1 million farmers – were in Uttar Pradesh and the second instalment of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi will be transferred from April 1.”

Read more election stories from NewsClick here.

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