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HomemaharashtraPM takes veiled dig at Sharad Pawar in Shirdi

PM takes veiled dig at Sharad Pawar in Shirdi

Mumbai: Continuing to target leaders of Opposition bloc I.N.D.I.A, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at NCP supremo SharadPawarfor ignoring the need of farmers vis-a-vis procurement under MSP when he was the Agriculture minister in the erstwhile Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

Modi, however, did not takePawar’s name.

The NCP is yet to react to the statement of Modi targetingPawar, a four-time former Maharashtra chief minister and three-time cabinet minister.

“In 7 years, food grains worth 13.5 lakh crore rupees was procured under MSP while this figure was a mere 3.5 lakh crore during the tenure of a senior leader who was the Agriculture minister in the earlier government. Personally, I have respect for him,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister’s statement came after he performed pooja at the Shri Saibaba Samadhi temple in Shirdi in the Ahmednagar district after which he inaugurated and dedicated a slew of projects to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore to the nation.

“Our government is committed to the empowerment of farmers,” he said, adding: “Oilseed and pulses worth Rs 1 lakh 15 thousand crore were procured after 2014 compared with to Rs 500-600 crore worth MSP procurement earlier. Direct Benefit Transfer has removed corruption and leakage.”

Speaking about the recent Cabinet decisions to increase the MSP for Rabi crops, Modi informed that the MSP of grams has been increased by Rs 105 and that of wheat and safflower by Rs 150 while the MSP of sugarcane has been increased to Rs 315 per quintal.

The Prime Minister informed that over the last 9 years, ethanol worth about Rs 70,000 crores was purchased and the money has reached the sugarcane farmers. “To ensure timely payment to sugarcane farmers, assistance worth thousands of crores of rupees has been provided to sugar mills and cooperative societies”, he added.

Referring to the work of Nilwande Dam, which had been pending for five decades, the prime minister expressed gratitude for getting the opportunity to perform Jal Pujan at the site. “The left bank (85 km) canal network of the Nilwande Dam has been commissioned and the left right bank would be completed soon,” he said.

Among other projects, Modi inaugurated the new Darshan Queue complex at Shirdi.

“The true meaning of social justice is when the nation is free from poverty and the poor get ample opportunities”, the prime minister underlined as he reiterated the Government’s mantra of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.

He emphasised that the welfare of the poor is the highest priority of the double-engine government and informed about increasing the budget for the same as the country’s economy is expanding.

He mentioned the distribution of One crore 10 lakh Ayushman Cards to beneficiaries in Maharashtra who will receive health insurance up to Rs 5 lakh per card. “The government is spending Rs 70,000 crores for this. The government will also expend more than Rs 4 lakh crores each for providing free ration to the poor and constructing pucca houses for them,” he added.

(Published 26 October 2023, 17:39 IST)

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