President Kovind, PM Modi greet nation on Diwali

President Ram Nath Kovind with PM Narendra Modi. Photo: Twitter

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday (October 27) wished the nation on the occasion of Diwali.

In a tweet in Hindi, Modi said, “Best wishes to all people in the country on the occasion of Diwali. May this festival of light brings new light in everyone’s life and our country always stays illuminated with happiness, prosperity and good luck.”

Modi also shared a picture with his signature along with his tweet which says, “May this auspicious festival brighten your lives with prosperity and good health and may there be happiness all around.

President Kovind too tweeted urging the people to bring happiness in the lives of needy by lighting the lamp of love, care and sharing.

“Greetings and best wishes to fellow citizens on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali. Let us on this day try to bring happiness in the lives of those who are less fortunate and needy by lighting the lamp of love, care and sharing,” President tweeted.

On Saturday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi slammed the BJP saying that farmers are celebrating ‘black Diwali’ as they are being forced to sell their produce at a price 22.5% lower than the MSP and are heading to suffer a loss of ₹50,000 crores.

Asking the BJP government in the centre to follow its “rajdharma” and protect farmers interest as the farmers are suffering a double whammy while their produce is being sold much lower than the cost price, and the input costs risen significantly.

“The manner in which the crops are being sold at an average of 22.5% less than the MSP in various mandis of the country, farmers will suffer a loss of ₹50,000 crores. How will they be compensated?” she asked in her statement.

“The Congress demands that this double exploitation of the country’s farmer should be stopped and they get adequate cost for his hard work and labour. This would be the governments real rajdharma,” the Congress chief said.

She accused the BJP of government of reneging on their promise of providing 50% plus the minimum support prices to farmers on their produce.

“The BJP government kept benefitting a handful of middlemen and hoarders, who have looted Indian farmers for years.

“The question is why the farmers are being forced to observe a Black Diwali on the eve of the festival. Today, the kharif produce is being sold at 8 to 37% less than its cost. This means the kharif crops are being sold at an average of 22.5% less than the MSP,” she said.

Gandhi said the BJP government has created more worries for farmers by fixing the MSP of Rabi crops in 2020-21 at only 4 to 7% higher than the last year.

“On the one hand, the BJP government has put fertilizers, tractor parts and pesticides in 4, 12 and 18% GST bracket, and have unnecessarily burdened the farmers through price rise and on the other, they (farmers) are getting diesel at higher prices due to its rising cost,” Gandhi said.

“Why are the farmers not getting remunerative prices for their produce of kharif crops like Toor, Udhad, Moong, Soyabean, Sunflower, Jawar, Bajra and Ragi? What is their fault? The farmers are getting ₹200 less than the minimum support price of ₹1,835 per quintal. Why so?” asked Gandhi.

She said a total of 140.57 million tonnes of Kharif production is expected in 2019-20.