Farmers’ welfare has been our main focus: PMMay 11th, 2009 - 12:55 pm ICT by IANS
Amritsar, May 11 (IANS) The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has made farmers’ welfare its main focus for the last five years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said at an election rally here Monday.
Campaigning for the Congress candidate from Amritsar Om Prakash Soni, the two leaders attacked Punjab’s ruling Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine, with Manmohan Singh saying: “They have not helped farmers at all”.
He listed the increases brought about by the central government in minimum support prices of various products.
The prime minister said: “Agriculture has been our main focus in the last five years.”
“We have always tried to ensure that farmers are the main beneficiaries of the country’s progress.”
Addressing the gathering earlier, Rahul Gandhi said “farmers are the backbone” of India and referred to the government’s Rs.700 billion loan waiver for farmers last year.
He alleged that some opposition leaders “like Chandrababu Naidu” (of the Telugu Desam Party) had said “farmers are not necessary”, but “we do not think this way”.
Rahul Gandhi once again took on the India Shining campaign slogan used by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) during the 2004 campaign and told his audience: “You gave a reply by making Manmohan Singhji the prime minister. He is the pride of Punjab and the pride of India”.
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