The National People’s Party (NPP) on Wednesday termed the ‘Farm Promises’ by the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) in their election manifesto as fallow and fake.
In a statement, the NPP said, “AITC leaders during their tenure in the state 2010 – 2018 failed to understand the plight of the farmers and ignored them. Now, that the NPP-led government during its tenure 2018-2023 introduced the biggest farmers' welfare scheme – Focus and Focus +, the AITC is scared and finding no way out to reach out to the farming community is promising financial assistance to the farmers, which the NPP government is already doing and has envisioned the scheme for next 10 years.”
Reiterating that the financial assistance being promised by AITC is nothing but ‘baaki card’ (credit card), the NPP said that most people in Meghalaya have already rejected their "fake" registration process and have outrightly termed their programme as a fake promise. "The AITC is pushing a campaign in the media that they have huge registration, which is nothing but an advertisement gimmick adopted by the party," the NPP added.
It claimed the NPP under the leadership of its national president Conrad K Sangma launched the ambitious programme Focus and Focus +, which has already benefited 3.1 lakh farmers.
“We feel that AITC and their leaders were in deep slumber during their tenure and are trying to replicate what NPP has already started. The AITC should rely on local issues rather than thinking too much of what they did in Bengal and replicate the same in Meghalaya,” the NPP further added.
The NPP then said that another promise of FARM Centres in every district is already operational in the state through the dedicated efforts of the NPP-led MDA government.
According to the NPP, in the past five years, 330 Integrated Village Cooperative Societies have been promoted, 300 Collective Marketing Centres and 50 Farmer’s Markets have been setup all across the state to provide marketing facilities to the farmers. Till date over 1,00,000 households have benefited through these initiatives by the NPP-led MDA government, it also said.
“Surprisingly, the Farm promises by TMC have been vague and generic. They lacked any concrete data on the number of farmers to be benefitted or the type of interventions that would be taken up. There are hollow promises and more of publicity stunt,” the NPP stated.
The NPP also pointed out that during the period of 2010-18, there has been severe distress among the farmers in the state, due to a lack of support and assistance from the government. Farmers have been denied subsidies and fertilisers in the disguise of promoting organic farming, thereby impacting their livelihood.
“Taking cognizance of this pathetic plight, the NPP-led MDA government has initiated several interventions beyond the flagship FOCUS, FOCUS+ and Marketing Infrastructure & Supply Chain. Purchase Mechanism for high-value crops like turmeric, vanilla, cocoa, ginger through a network of cooperatives has been initiated,” it said.
The NPP added that the Organic Agriculture Policy was also finalised covering over 15,000 ha of agricultural land at different stages of organic certification involving 15,000 farmers and about 28 FPCs. Several Mission Mode projects were also initiated, covering major agriculture and related products like Lakadong, Ginger, Honey, Spices, Mushroom Mission, Milk and Jackfruit among many others, the NPP stated.
The NPP then said that the State Piggery Mission, the largest in the country, was initiated with a budget of Rs. 209 Crores, to make the state self-sufficient in pork production. Meghalaya Milk Mission is being implemented with a financial outlay of Rs 215 crore.
Stating that all these interventions have brought cheer to the farmers, the NPP however said the TMC "fake" promises could have been more realistic, had their political masters in Kolkata, have taken cognizance of the pathetic situation of the farmers in Bengal, before strategizing for Meghalaya.
“TMC with the sole motive of deceiving citizens, can’t restrict the public memory of the recent multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in Bengal involving TMC strongman Anubrata Mondal. It is just a matter of time that the TMC would be taught a lesson by farmers and citizens of Meghalaya, for their mischief and devious nature towards the state of Meghalaya, in pursuit of their electoral prospects,” the NPP added.