Censuring the Centre and the State governments for being ‘insensitive’ towards the drought-hit Maharashtra, Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh on Tuesday demanded the immediate initiation of the Farm Income Insurance Scheme to alleviate the woes of farmers in the drought-hit regions of the State.
The minimum agriculture income ought to be fixed before sowing to assure income to farmers when their crops were destroyed, Mr. Singh told reporters here after completing a two-day tour of the Aurangabad and Jalna districts.
He said that the BJP-ruled States were already providing loans at zero per cent interest to their farmers.
“The situation is very grim and both — the Central and the State governments — were just not taking the drought seriously,” said the BJP president. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had yet to take a tour of the drought-plagued regions.
The State government had yet to fix responsibility for the Rs. 70,000-crore irrigation scam that had resulted in massive cost overruns in vital projects.
Administrative apathy towards drought was evident as not a single paisa had been spent on the setting up of cattle camps in the Marathwada region, alleged Mr. Singh.
The wrong policies of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government were heading the country to the brink of an economic abyss, he said.
Plaudits for NDA
The BJP president credited the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government with providing more than 60 lakh jobs in five years during its tenure from 1998-2003. In contrast, the UPA government had succeeded in providing a mere 27 lakh jobs since 2004.
“When Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister the country had a current account (CA) surplus, but the UPA had managed to sink it to a deficit of 6.7 per cent during the last quarter,” he said.
Mr. Singh reiterated that the BJP would not try to destabilise the UPA government as it was already sinking.