Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing backlash on Twitter following his video conference with Indian farmers earlier today. He was using the hashtag #KisanKiBaatPMKeSaath (farmers talk to the Prime Minister) to promote the initiative. Instead #ModiFailsFarmers was trending on social media.
Many Twitter users said that Modi government should quit publicity stunts like these to further their political agenda especially in light of the pitiful situation of debt-ridden farmers in India.
@Sagar_Solanki13 tweeted: “35 farmers commit suicide everyday! 0.01% growth rate of agriculture. No increase in minimum support price. Rs.1 and Rs.5 given as loan waivers. After all the jumla (false promises), isn’t PM Modi ashamed of PR stunts lie Kisan ki Baat PM Ke Saath? #ModiFailsFarmers”
Despite this, PM is busy with PR stunts like 'Kisan Ki Baat PM Ke Saath', where he sings songs of his achievements with regard to farmers. What is PM Modi celebrating when farmers are out on the streets protesting, hanging themselves in their fields? #ModiFailsFarmers— Snehil Bhardwaj (@Snehil_inc) June 20, 2018
In the video conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded farmers for making India self sufficient in the agricultural sector over the decades. But, the question most people on social media raised was as to why he failed to directly meet the farmers?
Tweep @tshamsi88 wrote: “#ModiFailsFarmers Video Conferencing with Farmers! Simple-Folks, toiling day and night to give others Food, must have been entertained as usual by the Agriculture Expert.”
Video Conferencing with Farmers!! Simple-Folks, toiling day&night to give others Food, must have been entertained as usual by the Agriculture Expert...— Shamsida Tayab (@tshamsi88) June 20, 2018
@RuchiraC added: “Even after 4 years, Modi ji doesn’t meet farmers. Does not even talk about farmer suicides. Stays maun [silent] when farmers are massacred by BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government in Madhya Pradesh and police is absolved of all responsibility. #ModiFailsFarmers”
Even after 4 years, Modi ji doesn't meet farmers. Does not even talk about farmer suicides. Stays maun when farmers are massacred by BJP govt in Madhya Pradesh and police is absolved of all responsibility. #ModiFailsFarmers pic.twitter.com/F790UhYGvh— Ruchira Chaturvedi (@RuchiraC) June 20, 2018
The anti-Modi tirade continued with many bringing back statements made by members of his government about the heartbreaking issue of farmer suicides.
@AtomicBlow posted: “Modi and his leaders didn’t think twice before terming farmers’ suicides a ‘fashion’ or saying that ‘farmers who commit suicide are cowards’. The Union minister for agriculture said farmers commit suicide due to ‘love affairs and impotence’. #ModiFailsFarmers”
@NavVysh: “#ModiFailsFarmers. Why are Indian farmers protesting? More than 12000 farm related suicides every year since Modi took over as PM. This is purely because of the anti-farmer policies of BJP.”
India has repeatedly been witnessing protests by farmers across the country in the past four months. The most recent was a 10-day protest that started on June 1, especially in BJP-led states of India. This was to put pressure on the Modi-led government to ensure better policies for farmers.
The country also saw a wave of farmer suicides recently due to climate change, crop failure and debt.
Tweep @SurajSSubraman1 wrote: “The current Indian government is the most anti-farmer government in the history of independent India. Prime minister Narendra Modi ji meets rich businessmen personally and waives off their thousands of crores but he speaks to farmers through video conferencing. #ModiFailsFarmers”
According to the Indian daily Economic Times: “This is the sixth interaction between Narendra Modi and farmers via video conference. The series of interactions began on the eve of Modi government completing four years in office.”
The report also stated that according to the Prime Minister, the budget for the agriculture sector has been doubled to Rs2.12 lakh crore during first four years of his government compared to the previous five years of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) regime, along with a marked increase in foodgrain and pulses production.