KUTCH: On a one-day visit to Kutch, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that there is a “conspiracy going on around Delhi to confuse the farmers”. He emphasised in the same breath that the government’s “priority from the beginning has been to increase the income of the farmers”.
The Prime Minister was speaking at Dhordo in Kutch, Gujarat, during the foundation stone-laying ceremony of several development projects in the state. These projects include a desalination plant, a hybrid renewable energy park, and a fully automated milk processing and packing plant. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was present on the occasion.
“Farmers are being misled about the new agrarian reforms. They are being told that others will occupy their lands. The agriculture reforms that have taken place are exactly what farmer bodies and even Opposition have been asking over the years. The Government of India is always committed to farmer welfare and we will keep assuring the farmers and addressing their concerns,” PM Modi said.
Even those who are sitting in the Opposition and misleading the farmers today were in favour of agrarian reforms in their time, PM Modi said, adding: “They (Opposition) could not make a decision during their government. Today when the nation has taken a historical step then these people are misleading farmers. The interest of farmers has been one of the important priorities of our government from day one. We have constantly worked to reduce the cost of farming to farmers and give them new options, increase their income, reduce the hardships of farmers, etc.”
PM Modi also recalled Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as the day coincided with hi 70th death anniversary. “His (Patel’s) tallest statue in Kevadia inspires us to work for the country day and night; remembering Sardar Saheb is how we should enhance the pride of the country and Gujarat,” he said.
Remembering the 2001 earthquake in Kutch that caused huge destruction in the area, PM Modi said people of Kutch have turned disappointment into hope, and it is one of the fastest developing areas in the country today.
“Today, Kutch has taken great strides in both new-age technology and new-age economy. This renewable energy park of Kutch is going to be in an area comparable to Singapore and Bahrain. Today the splendor of Kutch is growing very fast, today Kutch has become one of the fastest growing regions of the country. Today, even in Kutch, new energy is being transmitted, we have the world’s largest hybrid renewable park in Kutch.”
“It was once said that Kutch is so far away that there is no sign of development, no connectivity and another name for the challenge, but today the situation is different. It used to be seen as a punishment posting, but today officials line up to be posted here,” the PM said.
“Though the earthquake destroyed the houses in Kutch, even such a big earthquake could not break the morale of the people there. The people of Kutch rose again. Today, the identity of Kutch has changed. Kutch has shown the whole country how to move towards self-reliance by relying on its own resources, its own capabilities,” he said.
PM Modi also talked about how the project will benefit people there. “The project will benefit both farmers and industry and help save the environment by reducing pollution. The electricity that will be generated in the renewable energy park will help prevent 50 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.”
“At one time there was a demand from the people of Gujarat that it would be better to get electricity while eating. Today, Gujarat is one of the states in the country where, whether it is a city or a village, electricity is provided 24 hours a day. This change has been made possible by the tireless efforts of the people of Gujarat,” he said, adding: “India is the fourth largest producer of renewable energy in the world today. In the last six years, our solar energy capacity has increased 16 times.”