Thursday, 6 July 2017

UP Farmers cheated by Modi & BJP

  • Recollect the opinion polls during UP elections 2017, which confirmed absence any kind of wave and predicted BJP as largest single party falling short of majority and SP+Congress combine close behind and BSP at a distance. Few days before start of polling, Modi dramatically promised farm loan waiver for small and marginal farmers of UP that helped BJP rode to resounding victory.
  • Astonishingly, farm loan waiver was a failed strategy and Congress style of populism was always thrashed as an ill for the economy and strangely adopted by Modi-BJP in UP elections. Earlier, when Modi denied help to AP CM for farm loan waiver in fulfillment of his election promise, he was hailed for his financial prudence.
  • One of the triggers of the farmers’ agitation across India in May and June was the decision of waiver of farm loans by the Yogi Adityanath-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra announced waivers, following violent agitations by farmers.
  • The farmers of Uttar Pradesh, the first beneficiaries of the farm loan waiver of 2017, debunked the government’s announcement with varied epithets such as “sleight of hand”, “treachery” and “downright chicanery”. Unanimous sense of indignation was reflected among farmers due to its tweaking, in terms of the category and the time frame, has not gone down well with large sections of the farming community. The impression that the BJP leadership, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave during the campaign for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, was that there would be a comprehensive waiver of agricultural loans.
  • The scheme downright chicanery concocted by vile administrative and political barons. Farmers were more annoyed with the time frame set for loan waiver restricting it to 40% of small and marginal farmers. The time frame had been set in such a manner as to exclude a large number of debt-ridden farmers from the scheme.
  • Evidently, this scheme has been devised by a devious brain that knows about this behavior pattern of farmers and they are playing games with honest farmers while promoting defaulters and a culture of loan defaults.
  • Though the scheme was announced in early April, no initiatives were taken by the administration or the banks to implement it. When they are going to make a concrete move in this direction? 
  • Large sections of the bureaucracy points out that while it was the duty of the official machinery to facilitate the fulfillment of the ruling party’s election promises, its government cannot conjure up resources for it at will. 
  • Earlier there was faint hope that the Centre would help out with some allocation because the Prime Minister himself was involved in propping the loan waiver idea in the campaign. But after Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh followed suit with the scheme and the FM's emphatic statement that State governments will have to find their own funds, UP is practically in a quandary. The initial estimates are that the schemes would cost the State exchequer Rs.36,359 crore, which would meet 25% of the total outstanding agricultural loan of Rs.1,21,000 crore accrued in 2015-16. The scheme would benefit about 86 lakh of the 2.15 crore small and marginal farmers while total number of farmers are estimated to be 2.3 crores. 
  • The scheme deliberately leaving out 60% of the small and marginalized farmers is no fulfillment of election promise and UP may well see the emergence of MP-Maharashtra like situations, since the hope generated by the loan waiver announcement was fast crumbling even as the farmer was getting a price much lower than fair for his produce.
  • The Adityanath government is fortunate in that there are no spirited farmers’ organisations with militant leadership in the State like in Maharashtra and MP. The existing organisations lack credibility and tenacity. But the sense of hurt that thousands of farmers in UP feel will not subside for long.
My View:
Modi has no habit of walking the talking. Modi suffers from worst possible type of corruption; an insatiable desire for personal glory at any cost; an extremely deep moral and spiritual corruption. Modi belongs to the line of autocratic ideologues rather than the western tradition of revolutionary neo liberalism, or marxist rationalism. He would do anything to win elections and stay in limelight and publicize failures as achievements. Farm loan waiver is an U-turn from BJP's stated objectives of farm loan waiver, which hitherto was Congress style of populism and criticized by all and adapted by Modi only to win UP elections which is having snowballing effect on the entire nation and subjecting state government finances and banking system to severe duress. Development of infrastructure and progress of nation has gone back by at least 10 years. Senseless demonetization and unprepared GST roll out will have its own effects on our economy. Almost his schemes swachch bharat, make in india etc - all failed and bleeds exchequer without any tangible results and yet publicized as successes. With all these Modi is proving again and again as the worst economic manager our country ever had.

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