New Delhi, July 4: The Congress said the hike in minimum support price (MSP) for kharif crops, announced by the government today, was a "jumla" (rhetoric) and "electoral lollypop" aimed at wooing farmers ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The party charged the Modi dispensation with "duping" farmers and said that it had failed to live up to its promise of fixing MSP at 50 per cent above the cost of production.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that government has not given cost plus 50 per cent to farmers for any crop as per recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
He also alleged that the MSP announced today would be given to farmers only next year, by the time this government would be out of power and another one would pay.
"The MSP declared today does not fulfil the promise of cost plus 50 per cent of produce. If this is not betrayal with farmers, what is it?" he asked.
"Farmers have been duped yet again. This MSP does not fulfil the promise of giving cost plus 50 per cent to farmers as per CACP recommendations. It is a betrayal with the farmers. This is merely a PR exercise on MSP and is a mere 'electoral lollypop'," he told reporters.
The Congress leader said the recommendations of the CACP for 2018-19 are yet to come and the government has taken into account last year's recommendations to give MSP for next year.
"In May 2014, using false promises Prime Minister Modi gained the support of the farmers, but in the last four years, farmers did not receive the right MSP," he alleged.
Surjewala said the farmers have neither got MSP nor a loan waiver, even as prices of inputs such as fertilisers, pesticides, power and diesel have risen considerably.
Citing the CACP recommendations for 2017-18, he said the cost of production of paddy per quintal came at Rs 1,484 and the cost plus 50 per cent came at Rs 2,226, while the MSP is only 1,750 and there is a difference of Rs 476 from what was promised to farmers.
He also cited figures for other crops using CACP recommendations, alleging that farmers have been deceived yet again by this government, which he dubbed as "anti-farmer".
"This is a blatant lie by the government that the MSP declared today is 50 pc plus the cost of production.
"Unfortunately, Modi government does not speak the truth and never treads the path of truth. The Congress raised 420 rupees in MSP for paddy from 2009 to 2014, while the Modi government has raised it by only Rs 350. The MSP hike announced today will be paid by the next government and not by this one," he said.
Surjewala also took a dig at Home Minister Rajnath Singh, saying "at least he should not have fallen prey to Modiji's false jumlas. Though we respect Rajnath Singh as an elder, but he has misled the nation today".
"The prime minister has failed to fulfil his promise made to farmers. The prime minister is not speaking the truth that he has given 50 pc plus the cost to farmers. The prime minister is misleading the nation and is playing with the interests of farmers. The prime minister has done betrayal with the farmers and they will never accept this," he said.
The government today hiked the minimum support price for paddy by Rs 200 per quintal that will cost the exchequer over Rs 15,000 crore.
According to the government, the MSP of cotton (medium staple) has been raised to Rs 5,150 from Rs 4,020 and that of cotton (long staple) to Rs 5,450 from 4,320 per quintal.
In pulses, tur MSP has been raised to Rs 5,675 per quintal from Rs 5,450 and that of moong to Rs 6,975 per quintal from Rs 5,575. Urad MSP has been hiked to Rs 5,600 from Rs 5,400 per quintal.