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Bharat Ratna to Charan Singh, Swaminathan ahead of polls is hypocrisy: AIKS

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) The decision to confer Bharat Ratna Award on Choudhary Charan Singh and Dr M S Swaminathan ahead of the 2024 general elections is the "height of hypocrisy", All India Kisan Sabha said on Saturday.

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"By this step, the Modi regime is trying to hide its extreme anti-farmer, anti-agriculture and pro-corporate policies of the last ten years. But farmers will see through its game and it will never succeed in hoodwinking the rural populace," AIKS said in a statement.

The AIKS said more than 750 farmers from different parts of the country died during the 2020-21 farmers' protests against the now repealed farm laws, and many of the families of these farmer have still not received any compensation despite written assurances by the central government.

"The Modi regime is also the only government in independent India which has the ignominy of one of its own Union ministers of state Ajay Mishra Teni being directly responsible for the crushing to death of four farmers and one journalist under cars directed by him at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, which is the native state of Choudhary Charan Singh, a renowned anti-feudal farmer leader himself. What is worse, this minister, instead of being in jail for murder, still retains his post in the Modi cabinet," they said.

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They also cited National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures and said over one lakh farmers and agricultural workers have committed suicide due to indebtedness in the last ten years under the BJP government.

"The main reason for this terrible human tragedy is the outright refusal of this government to implement the most seminal recommendation of the National Commission on Farmers (NCF), headed by Dr M S Swaminathan, of giving a legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP) at one and a half times the comprehensive cost of production (C2 + 50%)," they said.

They also said that on February 15, 2015, the Union government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that it was not possible to increase the MSP for food grains and other farm produce to input cost plus 50 per cent as it would “distort the market”. "Ever since, it has consistently refused to honour any of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations", the AIKS said. During the 2014 elections campaign, the prime minister had talked about providing a loan waiver to farmers, which was not given, it said.

"Modi’s talk of doubling farmers’ incomes in six years has also been exposed for the ‘jumla’ that it was in the first place. In fact, as the latest Union Budget has proved, there have been huge cuts in outlay in agriculture and allied sectors, including in food subsidy, fertiliser subsidy, irrigation and also for MNREGA," they said.

Charan Singh and M S Swaminathan's thinking and work were "diametrically opposed to this entire trajectory of rural development that the Modi regime has been pushing at the behest of its corporate masters, both domestic and foreign." This trajectory has already led to the ruin of Indian agriculture and the Indian peasantry, they said. PTI AO AO SKY SKY

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