Beneficiaries will receive ₹6,000 on Chaudhary Charan Singh’s birthday, says Jayant Chaudhary
Launching the Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) election campaign for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections, party president Jayant Chaudhary on Thursday promised farmers of the State that the party would at least double the amount they receive under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme if voted to power. At present, farmers eligible under the scheme receive ₹6,000 in three instalments.
“Farmers and labour should have the first right to the resources of the State. For beneficiaries of the PM Samman scheme, the State will contribute ₹6,000 in one instalment to be paid on December 23, the birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh,” Mr. Chaudhary said.
Unlike the Centre’s scheme, Mr. Chaudhary, giving a sneak peek into the party’s manifesto, said the party had created a separate category for small farmers on non-irrigated lands. “Under the Chaudhary Charan Singh Krishak Samman scheme, they will receive ₹9,000 above the amount obtained under the PM Samman scheme,” he said.
Launching the month-long “Aashirwad Path” from Noorpur (Hapur), the birth place of former Prime Minister Charan Singh, and Khair (Aligarh), Mr. Chaudhary said the present schemes were not enough to help farmers lead a life of samman (dignity). “The government takes back double the amount it doles out in terms of rising electricity and diesel prices,” he said.
Taking on the government on the Lakhimpur violence, Mr. Chaudhary said the present dispensation did not want to bow before the public, even after making mistakes. “When the PM visited Lucknow, we expected him to go to Lakhimpur as well but he didn’t. When the Home Minister summoned his deputy to Delhi, we thought he would be shunted out but now it seems he has been allowed to brazen it out,” said Mr. Chaudhary.
Recounting his experience of visiting Lakhimpur Kheri, Mr. Chaudhary, who was the first head of a notable political party to reach the district, said the incident was an eye-opener for farmer friends who supported the BJP.
“The families of those mowed down in Lakhimpur are looking for your support in their fight against injustice,” he said. He spelt out the names of four farmers and a journalist who lost their lives in the incident and urged the crowd not to forget them. “It was an act of terror against farmers and the accused should have been booked under the UAPA [Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act],” he demanded.
To break the police dragnet, Mr. Chaudhary said he had to change vehicles, routes and his “get-up”. “How could sharing the grief of a farmer whose 18-year-old son lost his life make me a threat to law and order?” he wondered. “The son of another deceased, Nachhatar Singh, is a constable in the Seema Suraksha Bal. It gives me pain that such people are being dubbed as terrorists by a section of the media,” he added
Attacking U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Mr. Chaudhary said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promoted Mr. Adityanath’s bachelorhood as his biggest strength, “but in Indian tradition, the family has been described as a man’s strength”.
Ajay Kumar, the co-convener of the “Lok Sankalp Patra”, the RLD’s election manifesto, said the promise would not add to the fiscal stress of the State. “Farmers constitute at least half of the population of the State. If you put some money into their pocket, it is bound to come back to the market and help the economy,” he said.