Bihar Governor Lal Ji Tandon on Sunday sang hosannas to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding almost as an afterthought that the praise had nothing to do with electoral politics.
“If you think from the angle of humanity then your soul would say if there is someone who is working day and night for your development then his name is Narendra Modi,” Tandon said at a programme in Patna to mark the launch of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme that entails giving small and marginal farmers Rs 6,000 per annum in three instalments.
The governor said the scheme was aimed at giving respect to farmers, and lashed out at farm loan waivers which he claimed curtail budgets for other schemes. The Congress, riding on the promise of farm loan waivers, wrested Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh from the BJP. Rahul Gandhi has promised nationwide farm-loan waivers if the Congress is elected to power.
Tandon maintained that he had nothing to do with electoral politics, but said that be it “rajyapal” (governor) or ‘dwarpal’ (gate-keeper) it was one’s duty to tell people if something good or bad was happening. He called the PM’s scheme revolutionary.
Farmers at the function, however, had mixed opinions. “I have been trying to register for this scheme for the past five days but the field officials are saying there is some network issue,” Ajay Kumar, a farmer from Shivala village on the fringes of Patna, told The Telegraph.
Sukhiya Devi of Maner, around 15km west of Patna, however, had no such problems. “I am thankful to the PM,” she said.
Rambriksha Rai of Sarwahanpur village of Fatuha, 20km east of Patna, said he was not aware of the scheme and had come because his village headman had told him to.
Bihar agriculture minister Prem Kumar agreed there were teething network issues but said they would be sorted out soon.