The farmer issues were at the forefront of this year’s elections until the Pulwama attack and Balakot strike in February. With an unrivaled win, has the country forgotten the woes of its farmers who organized and participated in long marches to get their loans waived off and improve their livelihood?
On 23rd May 2019, the nation came together that morning and held their breaths as the clock struck eight in the clocks. The entire day was spent counting votes and seeing the numbers jump in favor of the Bharatiya Janata Party. With a historic win, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah partnership has proved the world that there is no better campaigner than the team of these two. The verdict 2019 has proved that the Modi missile is still strong and would reign in power for the coming five years as well. The exit polls had already indicated the current government’s win but the win would be so iconic, no one had ever thought of. The Bharatiya Janata Party swayed the entire nation with its promises and campaign tactics and the results are not hidden from anyone. What’s surprising was that despite the farmers’ protests, marches, and andolans, the Bharatiya Janata Party managed to get an unrivaled win even the key agricultural constituencies like the Western Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana.
The leader of the Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha was also a little disheartened at the win of the BJP amidst all the unresolved issues by the Indian farmers. However, he believes that the last minute schemes that the government announced in the Union Budget 2019 might have a strong impact on swaying the farmers. He said, “Because of the Long March and other protests, the BJP was forced to acknowledge farmers issues. Some last minute actions, like the PM-KISAN scheme and a high-pitch campaign, may have helped to appease farmers. Some farmers would have also been impacted by the ultranationalist campaign of the BJP.”
Launching schemes like the PM-KISAN, Rashtriya Gokul Mission, and Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, increasing the minimum support price and offering extra interest subvention through the Kisan credit card offer a short-term solution to the crisis in the agricultural sector. A longterm solution, in the form of an agricultural reform, is required to improve the face of the Indian agricultural sector and solve the root cause of the problems faced by the farmers.
Seeing the woes of the Indian farmers, the Bharatiya Janata Party, while campaigning for this year’s election, announced its manifesto to empower the farmers and improve the condition of the agricultural sector in the country. The leader announced that improving the productivity of India’s farm sector would be the top priority of the people. A sum of Rs. 25 lakh crores has been promised by the government to reform this sector. It also announced the launch of a pension scheme for the farmers if it wins. The scheme would offer the farmers, belonging to the small and marginal groups and are above 60 years of age, a fixed amount that would be given to them every month. By offering this, the government promises livelihood security to the farmers.
While the government faced a lot of backlash by the farmers and had to manage a number of marches, andolans, and protests by the farmer groups, they have given the Narendra Modi-led government a second chance this year to encash the ideas and schemes that it presented in its first tenure.
It has also been reported that the government has decided to take the responsibility for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare from Radha Mohan Singh and hand it over to the recognized agricultural economist, Ashok Gulati. The government believes that the current Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan, did not have a very impressive tenure and the cabinet might replace him. However, this would only be repealed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces his ministers for the second tenure after the great victory.