Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of cashing in on farmers' plight for votes and said that launching the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme at end of his tenure will not help him win the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Modi on Sunday launched the PM-KISAN scheme by transferring the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to over one crore farmers. Under the scheme, Rs 6,000 will be given per year to small and marginal farmers having combined land holding or ownership of up to 2 hectares.
"The attempt to win the elections by announcing the Rs 6,000 per annum scheme for the farmers will not help Modi, as the they have become intelligent," Gehlot said at a press conference.
He also asked why the scheme was not launched earlier.
"Prime Minister Modi said in Tonk on Saturday that the Congress raises the loan waiver issue only when the elections are near. But why did the Central government not introduce the Rs 6,000 per annum scheme five years back."
Gehlot also expressed his doubts whether such a meagre amount will benefit the farmer in this era of high inflation. "Modi should know that we are giving higher pension to the farmers."
The Rajasthan government on Saturday announced to provide Rs 1,000 monthly pension to small and marginalised farmers above 75 years of age. It will also give Rs 750 monthly pension to small and marginalised women farmers above 55 years of age and male farmers above 58 years of age without any regular source of income.
Gehlot also twisted the poll slogan "Modi hai to mumkin hai," coined by Modi, to "Modi hai to namumkin hai."
Addressing a rally at Tonk on Saturday, Modi said, "Public trusts the present government because of the work carried out in the last four years. People know 'Modi hai to mumkin hai' (People know that if Modi is there, everything is possible)."
Gehlot said, "It is not right to say 'Modi hai to mumkin hai.' Instead, one should say 'Modi hai to namumkin hai' (if Modi is there, nothing is possible) as the Prime Minister could not fulfil a single promise made during the election campaign before the 2014 polls."
Hours after it was rolled out by the PM, BSP chief Mayawati trashed the ambitious PM-KISAN scheme as "inadequate and humiliating".
"Giving Rs 17 per day to few farmers just before Lok Sabha elections is pure hoodwinking," the Bahujan Samaj Party leader tweeted.
"The Rs 500 a month to poor farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi is an insult to the farmers. Farmers believe in their labour and want remunerative price of their produce but BJP mentality to give them little monetary help is atrocious and arrogant. BJP has failed to fulfil their promise," she added.