PM Modi weaves Jat, farmer uplift into outreach mission

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reached out to the farmers protesting against the agri laws, asserting both the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government were committed to their welfare. Modi was addressing a gathering in Aligarh after laying the foundation stone of a state university named after the late Jat royal Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh, a freedom fighter and an educationist who had donated 90 acres for Aligarh Muslim University.

Drawing a parallel between the efforts made by former prime minister and the late Jat leader Chaudhary Charan Singh, the prime minister said his government, too, was focused on the uplift of small farmers. Touching upon various targeted schemes like hiked MSP, Kisan Credit Card, insurance scheme, pension of Rs 3,000, among others, Modi said the government paid Rs 1 lakh crore directly to small farmers during the pandemic, of which Rs 25,000 crore was paid to farmers in Uttar Pradesh alone. “Eight out of 10 farmers in India have small land holding measuring two bigha or less. So, the Centre’s continuous endeavour is to empower these small farmers,” Modi said.

Modi also said the UP government had cleared the payment of over Rs 1.40 lakh crore to cane farmers. He also mentioned former prime minister and the late Jat leader Chaudhary Charan Singh, commending his works towards small farmers’ emancipation.

The foundation-laying ceremony of the university is being seen as a part of BJP’s attempt to placate the politically-sensitive Jats in western UP. The Jats had supported the BJP in 2014, 2017 and 2019 polls. The university would be spread over 92 acres, spanning the villages of Lodha and Musepur Kareem Jarouli in Aligarh’s Kol tehsil. It will provide affiliation to 395 colleges in the Aligarh division.

Paying tribute to the Raja, Modi said his life was a lesson on indomitable will and willingness to go to any extent to fulfil the dreams. He added Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh devoted every moment of his life for country’s freedom. After taking stock of the development of Aligarh node of UP defense corridor, Modi announced a Rs 9,000 crore outlay for the development of BrahMos missile at the corridor’s Lucknow node.