In a relief to farmers across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the government has decided to extend the deadline for procurement of pulses by one week. Addressing a large gathering here, Modi also thanked the farmers for accepting his appeal to growing more tur dal. The PM hit out at the opposition for attacking him on the issue of price rise of dals within days of his assuming office in 2014. “Due to a late monsoon last year, the sowing and harvesting of pulses got delayed. That is why we had decided to procure the pulses at MSP (minimum support price) for the first time,” he said. “Recently, the farmers made a representation to me and sought extension of the deadline we set for buying the pulses from farmers,” Modi said.
“They urged me not to discontinue the procurement being done by NAFED after 15th (April). Today, I want to announce that we have extended the deadline for one week. This will benefit all those farmers whose crops are still being harvested,” he said. Recalling his initial days as PM, Modi hit out at the opposition for blaming the then newly elected BJP-led dispensation for the price rise of pulses. “Within one week of assuming the charge (in 2014), the people, who disliked me, started criticising me on the issue of price rise in dals.
“We were blamed even before the flowers in our victory garland dried. That price rise was the legacy we inherited. Despite that we were blamed for snatching away dal from the poor,” he said. “At that time, I appealed to the farmers to focus on cultivating pulses such as moong, arhar and tur. Today, I want to thank the farmers for accepting my appeal, as we had a bumper crop of pulses this time. This has not only shut the mouths of many but also provided cheap dal to the citizens,” Modi said. He was here to inaugurate a cattle feed plant of the Surat District Co Operative Milk Producers’ Union, popularly known as Sumul Dairy here.
Modi also inaugurated an ice cream plant built by the dairy at Navi Pardi village and laid the foundation stone for various other projects by the dairy through remote control. He urged farmers to start various other activities under the cooperative set up, such as installing solar power panels, constructing bio-gas plants and honey production. Apart from various projects of Sumul, Modi also performed the symbolic ground breaking ceremony of a Rs 958 crore irrigation project for the tribal-dominated Narmada, Tapi and Surat districts. Modi also inaugurated a Rs 440 crore project of providing drinking water in some hilly areas of Tapi district using a pipeline network.
Terming this project as an important technological achievement of Gujarat government, Modi said many parts of the country are still deprived of the basic amenities. “This pipeline is so large that you can drive your car in it. This is a significant achievement,” he said. “I tell you how the past governments worked for 70 years. Whenever I visit other states, the poor people request me to build roads using clay, while in Gujarat people tell me to build four lane roads. This is the difference,” he said.
“Even today, there are many villages where installation of a hand pump is considered as a significant work,” he said. “In other states, you can win elections three or four times by just installing a hand pump while here, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is working towards making Gujarat hand pump free by providing tap water,” he added.