NEW DELHI: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh today hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government as "God's gift to India" even as he claimed that in the 10 years of the Congress-led UPA rule, welfare of farmers had remained restricted to "mere slogans".
"After Independence, no government has come to power that worries so much about the future of the country. In a way, to the people of the country, the Modi government and the Prime Minister are a God's gift," Singh said at a farmers conclave organised by BJP's Kisan cell.
Last month, another Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had also called the Prime Minister God's gift to India". In a veiled attack on the Congress leadership, Singh said, "There are some leaders who talk about the welfare of farmers. Some write it down and they read out aloud though they can't tell 'arhar' shrub from another plant."
He asked why the parties had not taken measures like making crop insurance norms farmer friendly, which the Modi regime has done now. In his around 70 minute-long speech, Singh dwelt on various initiatives being undertaken by the Modi government ranging from crop insurance scheme to soil health cards, use of mobile apps and electronic trading platforms for farmers among others.
He said the amount disbursed as relief to framers under the Modi govermenthas also increased. Emphasising on the importance of disseminating correct information to farmers, he said, "There are some people, a party in this country, which does nothing, still talks big. For us, to do and then not speak would not be good."
Singh said the roles of the Centre and states are defined and in many cases, funds are released by the Centre which are then disbursed by the states. "At times, questions are raised over this disbursement in states. For instance in Uttar Pradesh...That people who paid bribes got relief or particular sections were favoured," he said adding no sensitive government can do so.
Singh said in areas like health, education and farming, it is the states that disburse the funds. He said the vision of leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishna Gokhale was of developing the country's villages.
With the Modi government at the helm, the vision of Gandhi, Tilak and Patel is being realised, the Agriculture Minister said. Singh also lauded the work done by the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and said that had it not come to power, villages in India would not have seen pucca roads.