Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal while alleging that they have destroyed the state and was doing politics by stopping over 70 lakh farmers of the state from getting benefits of the Centre's flagship PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 is being provided every year.
The prime minister wondered while there were agitations against the new farm bills, no protests were visible against West Bengal's decision of not implementing the PM-Kisan scheme.
Hours later, Banerjee hit back at the PM, accusing him of "misleading people with half-truths". "Our farmer brothers & sisters have been on streets protesting against new farm laws. Instead of addressing them, PM today chose to mislead the people with half-truth & distorted facts. BJP-led Centre is not cooperating & only indulging in propaganda for petty political gains," she tweeted, sharing a detailed statement as well.
Our farmer brothers & sisters have been on streets protesting against new farm laws. Instead of addressing them, PM today chose to mislead the people with half-truth & distorted facts. BJP-led Centre is not cooperating & only indulging in propaganda for petty political gains. pic.twitter.com/gtngklCruy
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 25, 2020
Around 70 lakh farmers of West Bengal are not getting the benefit of this scheme, which is fully funded by the Centre, he said while addressing a virtual event after releasing over Rs 18,000 crore to more than nine crore farmer families under the 'Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi' (PM-KISAN).
With the push of a button, Modi enabled the transfer of money at an event which the ruling BJP has made into a mega exercise to reach out to farmers by having its leaders interact with the farming community at more than 19,000 venues across the country and also listen to the prime minister's address.
Modi released the instalment of Rs 2,000 to every farmer on the birth anniversary of the former prime minister and BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which is every year celebrated as 'Good Governance Day' by the ruling party.
Under the PM-KISAN scheme, a financial benefit of Rs 6,000 per year is provided to small and marginal farmers, payable in three equal instalments of Rs 2,000 each. The fund is transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.
The programme comes amid protests by various farmer unions against three farm laws recently enacted by the Modi government.
The government has insisted that these reforms are in the interest of farmers.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged Punjab farmers to end their protest and come forward to hold discussions with the government to resolve the deadlock over the three new farm laws.
Tomar hoped that farmers would understand the importance of these three legislations and will hold a discussion with the government to reach a solution to break this stalemate.
PM and others pay tributes to Malaviya, Vajpayee on their birth anniversary
Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Union ministers, and parliamentarians paid floral tributes to Madan Mohan Malaviya and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Central Hall of Parliament on their birth anniversary.
Prime Minister Modi also released a book, 'Atal Bihari Vajpayee: A Commemorative Volume', to mark the occasion.
The leaders first paid tributes to Malaviya and then to Vajpayee on their portraits in the Central Hall.
Born in 1861, Malaviya was a former president of the Congress who later founded the Hindu Mahasabha.
Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other parliamentarians pay floral tribute to Bharat Ratna awardee Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya and former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on their birth anniversaries, at Central Hall in the Parliament pic.twitter.com/OQH3GZsFW9
— ANI (@ANI) December 25, 2020
Noting that Malaviya was an inspiration behind BHU, Prime Minister Modi, in a tweet earlier in the day, lauded him as a multifaceted talent.
His contribution to the country will inspire the coming generations, the prime minister said.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was born in 1924, was a founder member of the Jana Sangh and then the BJP, a party which rose from the margins to rule India for the first time in the 1990s with him being its main face.
His tenure is credited with ushering in a fresh wave of liberalisation, boosting growth and infrastructure.