Ahmedabad, Apr 12: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today took a dig at the Congress-led UPA government saying he wondered if the Centre would respond to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's criticism of policies towards the farmers.
Pawar has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, stating that the government's policies related to cotton, sugar and milk were hurting farmers who are being asked to subsidies the industry.
In backdrop of the letter, Modi tweeted, "UPA ignores our (BJP's) repeated pleas against anti-farmer policies. Wonder if they'll respond to their own Agriculture Minister." Modi's tweet came after he locked horns with the Centre on the issue of export of cotton, which according to him, is hurting the interest of Gujarat farmers.
Modi had recently said the Centre was taxing export of cotton while offering subsidies on meat export.
His statement had drawn sharp reaction from Union Textile Minister Anand Sharma, who said Modi had made the statement "without ascertaining the facts".
However, Modi has stuck to his statement. Pawar, in his letter to the PM yesterday, had said "Compromising the interest of small cotton farmers to benefit the textile magnates is indeed a travesty of justice. Moreover, it defies logic to permit the consumer of cotton (textile industry) to dictate terms to cotton producer...".
He had also said the "negative approach" of the Food Department in allowing sugar exports has led to heavy losses in export earnings which could have been used to clear cane arrears to farmers that have crossed Rs 8,000 crore.