Report by Jag Mohan Thaken
25 December 2023, Chandigarh: The Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday paid tribute to the farmer leader late Chaudhary Charan Singh, former Prime Minister of India, popularly referred to as the ‘Champion of Farmers’ on his birth anniversary by organizing an ‘Anndata Sammelan’ in village Singhani, Loharu Constituency of district Bhiwani.
Addressing a large crowd at the ‘Anndata Sammelan’, the Chief Minister said that Chaudhary Charan Singh made pivotal contributions to the welfare of farmers and laborers. He also highlighted his government’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of farmers.
He said that the government has undertaken numerous initiatives for the welfare of farmers. Even today, development projects worth Rs. 112 crores have been inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for the Loharu legislative constituency. In the past 9 years, the state government has approved Rs. 13,800 crores for development projects in the Bhiwani district, with Rs.10,400 crores already spent, and the remaining projects are in the pipeline. Additionally, Rs.3927 crores have been approved for the Loharu legislative constituency, with Rs. 2,421 crores already spent and projects worth Rs. 1,500 crores in the pipeline, said CM Khattar.
“The present State Government is pro-farmer, and agriculture continues to be the focal point of state policies, with numerous ongoing welfare schemes aimed at benefiting the farming community. The government has been constantly implementing continuous welfare schemes for farmers, benefiting them,” said CM Khattar.
Highlighting the transformation of the region, the Chief Minister shared insights from his visits during the years 1982-84 when sand dunes covered the roads. Through the collective efforts of local farmers and the implementation of advanced micro-irrigation systems, the once arid land has flourished into a fertile and productive agricultural landscape, said Khattar.
Underscoring the exceptional dedication of Chaudhary Charan Singh to the cause of farmers, the Chief Minister noted the leader’s bold decision to part ways with Congress in 1967 to establish a new political entity exclusively focused on the well-being of farmers.
Mr. Khattar provided historical context by recalling Chaudhary Charan Singh’s visionary call for a farmer census in 1971. He said that Chaudhary Charan Singh advocated for tailoring all government schemes to benefit small and marginal farmers, who constituted 51 percent of the total farmer population at that time. Today, the number of small farmers has surpassed 80 percent, presenting a formidable challenge that requires collective efforts to enhance the income of farmers, he said.
On this occasion, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister, J.P. Dalal, while presenting the demands of the residents before the Chief Minister, said that on the national level, a “Kisan Ratna” award should be instituted in the name of Chaudhary Charan Singh, like the Bharat Ratna award. Furthermore, he suggested that on the lines of how Sahityakar and filmmakers are separately nominated in Parliament, 2 to 3 leaders advocating for farmers’ interests should also be nominated.
Speaking on the occasion, Lok Sabha MP, and BJP State President, Nayab Singh Saini said that Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar is a leader who cares about farmers, constantly working towards increasing farmers’ income. Under the leadership of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Chief Minister, Khattar, both the Central and State governments are working to strengthen the economic condition of farmers.
The Chief Minister also highlighted the need for collaborative endeavors to promote agriculture and commended the government’s persistent efforts in this regard. He said that farmers should be vigilant and informed about political involvement in their issues. He cautioned the farmers to identify such individuals involved in politics by staging protests and blocking roads in the name of farmers.
It is worth mentioning here that to show their anguish against the BJP government and Haryana Agriculture minister J P Dalal, who reportedly had spoken indecent language targeting the farmer leaders a few days ago, farmer unions of the area also held today a parallel rally in Obra village just 20 kilometers away.
In the Mahapanchayat organized in Obra village on the 121st birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh, former Uttar Pradesh MLA Pratap Singh said that Chaudhary Charan Singh used to say that the country will progress only through the prosperity of farmers and laborers, but the Modi government at the Centre has lost its way. He said that the people currently in power in Delhi have joined hands with the big capitalists and policies are being made according to them. Due to this, there is huge anger among farmers and laborers.
Farmer leaders strongly attacked the BJP and said that there is a need to be aware that the BJP is doing politics of religion and caste in the country and is pursuing its own interests by dividing people among themselves. Questioning BJP’s Annadata Sammelan, he said that BJP and its allies should explain why they did not remember the farmers and laborers even once during the 13-month-long farmers’ movement. He said that everyone will have to unite and defeat the BJP and its brokers in the 2024 elections.
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