TMC condemns Modi's sarcastic remark against Derek's speech in Rajya Sabha
New Delhi/Kolkata: Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday condemned Prime Minister Modi's sarcastic remark about TMC MP Derek O Brien's speech at the Rajya Sabha. The PM made such remarks while replying to the debate on Motion of Thanks on President Ram Nath Kovind's address in Rajya Sabha.
Veteran TMC leader and party's MP Saugata Roy said while using phrases like 'freedom of speech' and 'intimidation' in his address to the house, Derek O Brien was referring to the prevailing situation in the entire country. "The freedom of speech was curtailed in Jammu and Kashmir. During the passing of CAA and farmers' protests, the freedom of speech has been affected in the country," he added. Earlier in the day, TMC MPs walked out of the house as PM Modi began his reply.
Referring to Modi's address to the Rajya Sabha, Roy said the PM didn't speak about real issues. "He (PM) was assured of giving jobs to 2 crore people. But, in reality during his tenure the country has witnessed a record employment rate in the past 45 years. On the contrary, at a time when one crore jobs were lost across the country, the unemployment rate in Bengal got reduced by 40 per cent," Roy added. The TMC MP highlighted that PM Modi didn't talk about the adverse effects of demonetisation on the country's economy. Roy also took a swipe at Modi for his remarks against the situation of farmers in Bengal, while addressing a rally in Haldia last Sunday. According to Roy, the state government's Krishak Bandhu scheme was much better than Centre's PM Kisan. The TMC MP highlighted the advantages of Krishak Bandhu over the benefits under the Centre-sponsored scheme.
"Under Krishak Bandhu, farmers in Bengal get Rs 6,000 per acre. But, under PM Kisan, the farmers get only Rs 1,214 per acre. While Krishak Bandhu benefits all farmers, PM Kisan is only meant for small and marginal farmers," he added.
The TMC MP claimed that around 94 per cent farmers received the first installment in the first 8 months under Krishak Bandhu between 2018 and 2019. "But, during the same period, around 48 per cent farmers didn't receive any installment for PM Kisan. In fact, Bengal is the only state where the entire premium for crop insurance (Bangla Shashya Bima) is paid by the state government. For PM Fasal Bima Yojana, farmers are required to pay the premium," he added.
In addition to such benefits, the MP highlighted how farmers in Bengal get additional benefits under Krishak Bandhu, like Rs 2 lakh compensation in case a farmer (between 18-60 years of age) dies. The MP claimed that farmer's income in the state has tripled from Rs 90,000 in 2011 to Rs 2.90 lakh in 2021. "Though the Centre had promised to double the income of farmers by 2020, the same won't happen until 2028 considering the current rate," he claimed.
The MP alleged that Food Corporation of India (FCI) had procured only 76,000 metric tonnes of paddy from Bengal despite being requested to buy 6lakh metric tonnes. "Bengal was ignored despite being the topmost producer of rice. However, the Centre procured more quantities of paddy from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana," he said. The MP slammed the PM for not talking a word about the ill-planned lockdown, for which several migrant workers died and faced immense inconveniences.
Meanwhile, TMC leader Subrata Bakshi on Monday took oath as a member of Rajya Sabha. Bakshi, who was elected to the Upper House from Bengal last year, took oath in Bengali. After the oath, he greeted Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and signed the members' register.