Farmers and rural India voted ‘en masse’ for PM Modi in 2014 general election. Traditionally, rural India had not been a stronghold of BJP but this phenomenon changed after the rise of PM Modi. Since 2014 general election BJP has won successively in states with large rural population like Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand. So, the important question political pundits are trying to answer these days is, will rural India vote for Modi in 2019? Mainstream media has constantly debated this in the noisy 9 PM shows. The answer for this question is also important for BJP if it wants to get reelected with majority and for opposition if it wants to survive. rightlog has analyzed the decisions of Modi government in the last four years which will help BJP in rural outreach.
The decisions taken under Doubling Farmer’s Income by 2022 scheme will be the prime mover for Modi government in rural India. To make farmers financially secure in the case of poor crop growth, the government launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY). To provide irrigation facilities to farmers across the country, PM Modi launched Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) and pumped money into the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to increase credit penetration to farmers. The MSP for common variety paddy, the most important Kharif crop will be raised by Rs 200 over last year’s Rs 1,550 per quintal, which is 13 percent increase from the MSP in the previous financial year. All these steps were taken to double farmer’s income by 2022. Impact of these policies was visible in healthy agricultural growth in last fiscal year. In the FY 2018, the country exported agricultural commodities worth $ 38.74 billion, as against imports of $ 24.89 billion which resulted in farm trade surplus of $ 13.85 billion. The surplus for 2016-17 and 2015-16 was $ 8.05 billion and $ 10.23 billion respectively. In last quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18, growth in agriculture sector was 4.5 percent. Agriculture is driver of rural economy and healthy growth in this sector will certainly help Modi government in getting reelected in 2019.
The next thing which will bring votes for Modi government is Ayushman Bharat scheme. Over 63 million persons are faced with poverty every year due to healthcare costs alone. It is because there is no financial protection for the vast majority of healthcare needs. The share of non regular expenditure on healthcare as a proportion of total household monthly per capita expenditure is 6.9 percent in rural areas and 5.5 percent in urban areas. Under Ayushman Bharat (popularly known as Modicare), the government will provide money for treatment from the 5 lakh health insurance covers which 10 crore needy families will be availing. Besides the insurance cover, the government will create 1, 50,000 health and wellness centers across the country.
Modi government has been able to make revolutionary changes in energy sector. It has been able to provide electricity to every village in the country. International Energy Agency (IEA) called it as ‘one of the greatest achievements in history of energy’. For decades, people in rural India were using biomass as a cooking fuel because they could not afford LPG cylinders. Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna, government has been able to provide LPG connections to 3.6 crore people living below poverty line. Cooking with biomass is extremely harmful to health and studies have shown that it is responsible for acute respiratory infections in children, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumoconiosis, cataract and blindness, pulmonary tuberculosis and adverse effects to pregnancy. Some political analysts said that ‘Ujjawala Yojna’ was major reason behind BJP’s victory in UP assembly election.
Cleanliness drive is one major success of Modi government for urban as well as rural India. When Swachh Bharat Mission was launched in October 2014, less than 40 percent of households in India were Open Defection Free (ODF), while as of now 85 percent of Indian households are ODF. The significant increase in the toilets built has been in the villages of India, which has gone up from 47,000 to 384,000 within the span of 4 years. An independent survey found that 96% of the villages declared ODF were indeed ODF, and 77% of the households surveyed had toilets. The mission changed the mindset of people in rural India, earlier even the households which had toilets were not using it regularly. As of now, the people who had access to toilets, 93% were found to use them regularly. According to WHO report, Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) will save 3 lakh lives by 2019.
Almost 315 million accounts have been opened through JAN DHAN Yojna. Now these accounts have been linked with AADHAR card and various subsidies are transferred directly to beneficiary’s bank account. Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has removed substantial amount of leakage from delivery of public goods and subsidies. Leakage of pensions has dropped by 47 percent.
Welfare schemes like Saubhagya, Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Mission Indradhanush were implemented to provide social security to people on the lower spectrum of social strata. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), a lucrative life insurance plan, wherein the insured receives Rs 2 Lakh cover against an annual premium of Rs 330, each year. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is a pension scheme targeted at people in the unorganized sector. The scheme is applicable to subscribers aged 18 to 40 years, with valid bank accounts. The scheme aims to benefit people who do not have a social security or who do not fall under the income tax bracket. These social security schemes will also help BJP to get larger share of votes among poor and marginalized voters.
The effects of these programs are visible in the revival of rural economy. Sales of two wheeler and passenger cars have been higher in rural parts of the country compared to urban India. The data from automobile sector is taken as representative of rural demand in India therefore it suggests rural demand was very good in this fiscal year. The RBI annual report released on 29th August revealed that household savings is highest in the last seven years. Highest storage of savings was in cash which prevalent mode of keeping savings in rural areas therefore household savings in rural areas is also very high. The welfare schemes, universal healthcare, Swachh Bharat success, increasing farmer’s income will help Modi government in getting reelected in 2019 general election predominantly supported by rural India.
Get real time updates about our posts directly on your device