Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today took a nasty swipe at the BJP over farmers' issues. Speaking at Meerut's Kissan Mahapanchayat, he even called top BJP leaders, including his Uttar Pradesh (UP) counterpart, Yogi Adityanath, liars over their claims on minimum support price (MSP).
Taking off on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent speech in Parliament, in which he had reassured that the MSP system would stay, Mr Kejriwal asked where in Uttar Pradesh MSP was paid. PM Modi, speaking in Parliament earlier this month, had said, "MSP was there. MSP is there. MSP will remain in the future." He was trying to assuage the fears of the thousands of farmers who have been protesting for the past many months against three new Central farm laws.
Today, though, Mr Kejriwal used that statement to attack the entire BJP leadership. Chief Minister Adityanath was in his firing line.
"Their minister keeps saying that MSP was there and will remain. But you tell me if farmers get MSP in any of the mandis. They lie day and night. Yogi Adityanath lies," he said in Meerut today.
He zeroed-in on UP's sugarcane farmers to drive home his point saying they had not been getting their dues up to two years. The cumulative backlog, he said, was Rs18,000 crore. He sought to know what Mr Adityanath's helplessness was in not fixing the sugar-mill owners' problem.
"Yogi Adityanath, shame on your government if you are incapable of ensuring payments sugarcane farmers," Mr Kejriwal said.
He said the problems can be fixed only if the government has the right intent and that funds would not the issue then. He cited his own government's example in Delhi with regards to power supply and bills in the city.
"If you elect a government with the right intent, farmers would get their payment even before they reach home after depositing their produce in the mills," he said.
The Delhi Chief Minister also took up the issue of galloping fuel prices, reiterating that a government with the right intent could bring down petrol and diesel rates.
"I would like to say at the end that this is a national movement, a pure movement. I'm not doing any favours...I'll tell you that the government will ultimately have to bow before you," he told the Mahapanchayat.