Doraikkannuji, all the distinguished hon’ble Ministers of the state of Tamil Nadu, Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu, Members of Parliament, MLAs, leaders of different parties: AIADMK, DMK, PMK, BJP; senior officials from the central government, from the Indian railways, from the state government, all my farmer brothers and sisters who have come from all over Tamil Nadu today to participate in this important programme; friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, Vanakkam.
First of all I want to pay my homage to the two jawans from Tamil Nadu who gave their lives, the supreme sacrifice for India, Mr Subramanian G. from Tuticorin and Sivachandran C. from Ariyalur, both of whom have given their lives so that all of us can live in peace and harmony.
I think all of us, together, will send our prayers and good wishes to the family and I can assure you on behalf of Prime Minister Modi and the government of India that their sacrifice will not go in vain. The country will give a befitting reply to terrorism and people who harbour terrorism.
Today is the birthday of the most respected, revered and beloved Amma. Dr J Jayalalithaji was someone I respected and someone whose radiant, smiling face comes before my eyes as I talk to you.
I was fortunate to meet her just a few days before she got hospitalised and that day will be one of the most memorable days of my life. I want to quote from one speech that Amma gave in the Rajya Sabha when she first was elected to the Rajya Sabha, in her maiden speech, the first speech, I want to quote before you.
“I have come here as a representative of the weaker sections of our society, the toiling masses, the crores of humble workers and as a representative of farmers, poor agricultural labourers and women.”
Her heart was for the poor, was for the farmers, was for the less privileged sections of the society. She gave us Amma Canteen, she gave us medicines at discounted rates, she gave free textbooks to the students, she gave uniforms, bags, cycles. She was always caring for the poor and for the farmers.
Today the people of Tamil Nadu, particularly the farmers, are grateful to Prime Minister Modi for launching this important Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi programme which will benefit 12 crore farmers all over the country and more than 60 lakh farmers in Tamil Nadu on the auspicious day of her birthday. I request all of you to stand up and give a resounding, thunderous applause to Amma on her birthday. Thank you.
The scheme will benefit the small and marginal farmers who have small landholding: 1 acre, 2 acre, 3 acre, and every year for years and years they will continue to get Rs 6000 every year. This scheme is not a favour we are doing to the farmers. This scheme is a mark of respect that the people of India are giving to our brother and sister farmers for giving us food grains and making India self-sufficient, and a country in which nobody will have to go hungry to bed.
The first instalment of Rs 2000 has started from today itself and people all over the country will start getting this. I must compliment the government of Tamil Nadu ably led by hon’ble Chief Minister, hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister and all the hon’ble leaders of AIADMK who have already send the first list of more than 20 lakh names to Delhi.
Now at the district panchayat level the officers will go and make lists of any names which are left out. Any farmer who has not opened his bank account or who has not got his Aadhaar number, please open your bank account immediately, apply for an Aadhaar number and with your document of land ownership, please register your name at the district panchayat level.
These lists will be put up in the Gram Panchayat. After that if still any name is left out you can still apply and your name can be added. If in the list there is any name which is not supposed to receive this benefit, if a wrong name is there then you please complain and remove that wrong name so that the real beneficiaries only get this benefit. So every farmer, small farmer, marginal farmer will get Rs 2000 now and then every 4 months he will get Rs 2000 again and again, and for many-many years in the future he will continue to get this 2000 three times a year that is, Rs 6000 every year for years and years to come.
This is the largest scheme that has ever been launched after independence. It is the largest scheme that India has ever launched. The budget of this year has increased the money for agriculture and agricultural activities to 1,41,000 crore rupees, which is nearly five times more than what it was when the Congress and the earlier government was in power before 2014. Even in the Kisan Credit Card, the loan amount which was eligible without guarantee is now increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1,60,000.
I am told the farmers of Tamil Nadu have benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana also in a very big way. As Thiru Paneerselvamji was saying when central government and state government work together as friends, you can see double progress, double speed of progress. You all know that in a train, if you put a double engine the train goes faster.
And people of Tamil Nadu are very smart. Correct? Am I Right? Are the people of Tamil Nadu Smart? Everybody in the room? You are smart? So you want the double engine to work for Tamil Nadu?
So, with your blessings, with the blessings of all the farmers of Tamil Nadu, with the blessings of all the people of Tamil Nadu and with the blessings of Amma, let us all go work for a better future for our people.