Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday kick-started the election campaign for his party, the BJP, in Karnataka when he addressed a rally in Bangalore.
Speaking at the rally, Modi redefined the word ‘top’ explaining that the word for him stood for tomato, onion and potato.
“Farmers producing fruits and vegetables are our ‘TOP’ priority. ‘TOP’ means ‘Tomato, Onion and Potato’. We have launched ‘Operation green’ in interest of these farmers. ‘Operation green’ would be beneficial for farmers just like the Amul model was successful in dairy,” he was quoted by Times of India.
Ironically, Modi’s comments on boosting the cultivation of potato were made even as farmers in Uttar Pradesh, a state governed by the BJP, grappled with the crises of record production but considerable slump in rates. Not so long ago, farmers were seen dumping their crops in Lucknow even outside the residence of the chief minister, Yogi Adityanath.
As for the tomato, its prices touched record high under the Modi government with it being sold for as high as Rs 120 per kilo for several months.
While in Bangalore, Modi also said that there had been a 180 percent increase in the allocation of funds for Karnataka after his government came to power in the Centre. He, however, took a veiled dig at the state’s Congress government by saying that the money allocated for the state had not been passed on to the ordinary public.
Modi also hinted that BS Yeddyurappa will be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate if the BJP wins the elections.
“If farmer’s son Yeddyurappa becomes the Chief Minister, the Centre’s MSP (minimum support price) scheme will be highly successful because he knows the problems of the farmers,” he was quoted as saying.
Yeddyurappa has been the two-time chief minister of Karnataka but has had to spend time in jail on corruption charges. There was disquiet in the party that he may not be fielded as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate due to Yeddyurappa’s alleged involvement in corruption in the past.