Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally on February 16 in Barabanki, 30 km from Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, which has seen three phases of voting in a seven-phase poll for the next vidhan sabha (legislative assembly).
We checked five claims made by Modi during the speech.
Claim 1 (Time: 15:50)
Lekin agar sarkar ki school main…akhilesh ji ka kaam bolta hai…ki 50% teacher ki bharti hi nahi hui hai, to garib ka baccha padhaai kahaan karega?”
(If, as work done by Akhilesh Yadav government shows, there is a 50% vacancy in teacher posts in Uttar Pradesh, where will the children of the poor get education?)
Fact: Modi is partially right.
As many as 23% teacher posts in elementary grades (up to Class 8) and 50% posts in secondary schools (Class 9 and Class 10) are vacant in Uttar Pradesh, IndiaSpend reported in December.
Of six million teaching positions in government schools nationwide, about 900,000 elementary school teaching positions and 100,000 in secondary schools – put together, a million – are vacant, according to data tabled on December 5 in the Lok Sabha.
Teacher vacancy in Uttar Pradesh is the second worst in India for secondary schools and sixth worst for elementary schools.
States with worst teacher vacancies
Claim 2 (Time: 18:30)
“Hindustan mein sabse jyada..daliton par atyachaar agar kahin hote hai, to us pradesh ka naam hai Uttar Pradesh”
(If there is a region in India where crimes against lower castes are the highest, it is Uttar Pradesh)
Fact: Modi is wrong.
Though crimes against scheduled castes were the highest in Uttar Pradesh at 8,358 cases with 8,460 people affected in 2015, the state’s crime rate, or crime per 100,000 scheduled caste population, was 20, less than Gujarat (26), Madhya Pradesh (37) and Goa (51), according to data from the National Crimes Records Bureau.
As many as 11 states and one union territory registered worse crime rates against scheduled castes than Uttar Pradesh.
Among the other large states, Rajasthan registered the highest crime rate against Dalits: 57 crimes per 100,000 scheduled caste population, followed by Andhra Pradesh at 52, Bihar at 39, Chhattisgarh at 31 and Maharashtra at 14.
While the crime rate in Gujarat has always been above 25 per 100,000 scheduled caste population, it has always been below 20 per 100,000 scheduled caste population in Uttar Pradesh.
The crime rate against Dalits in Uttar Pradesh consistently fell during the tenure of former Chief Minister Mayawati and gradually increased during the tenure of current Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Claim 3 (Time 23:30)
“Uttar Pradesh mein kisano ki paidavar sirf 3% khareedi jaati hai”
(Government procures only 3% of the farm produce in Uttar Pradesh).
Fact: The figure quoted by Modi is right for wheat but wrong for rice.
Government agencies, such as the Food Corporation of India and state government agencies, procured 2.5% of wheat produced in Uttar Pradesh in 2014-’15 and 10.5% of rice produced that year in the state. Most of the farm output was sold by farmers to traders and commission agents in agriculture produce markets.
“In Chhattisgarh, procurement of 60% of farm produce is done by the government at the minimum support price,” Modi said. “In Madhya Pradesh, too, 60% is bought by the government, while Haryana is at 70% and Rajasthan at 50%.”
The figures are true for Chhattisgarh for rice, close to reality for Madhya Pradesh for wheat, and close for both rice and wheat in Haryana.
Modi was wrong about Rajasthan. Farmers of that state sold 18% of their wheat to government procurement agencies in 2014-’15, not 50% as the prime minister claimed.
Claim 4: (Time: 31:50)
“Humne aisi Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana laaye hai ki agar prakrutik karano se kisan buaai nahin kar paaya, to bhi usko bima milega. Aisi koi yojana dekhi hai?”
(We started the Prime Ministers’ Crop Insurance Scheme where, even if natural reasons affect the crop at sowing, the farmer will be insured. Has anybody seen such a scheme before?)
Fact: Modi stretched the truth.
While the prime minister claimed that this is the first time crops are being insured against weather-related vagaries, an earlier insurance scheme had a sub-scheme named Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme, which was limited to some geographical regions but insured crops against drought, excess rains and even frost.
The crop-insurance spending included three parts: National Agriculture Insurance Scheme, Modified National Agriculture Insurance Scheme and Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana amalgamates the former two . Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme is distinct from it.
The the weather-based insurance component was piloted in 2003 for the summer crop and in 2008 for the winter crop. The Modi government spent more than Rs 1,000 crore in its first two years 2014-’15 and 2015-’16 on Weather-Based Crop Insurance Scheme even before Fasal Bima Yojana was rolled out.
The government, under Prime Minister Modi, more than doubled the spending on crop insurance to Rs 13,200 crore – the highest ever – in 2016-‘17 (revised estimate), to cater to increased crop failures after consecutive drought years. The spending in 2017-’18 is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore.
Claim 5: (Time: 35:00)
“Jahaan BJP ki sarkarein hai, chahe Gujarat ho, Maharashtra ho, Haryana ho, Rajasthan ho, Chhattisgarh ho, Jharkhand ho…wahaan 60-70% kisanonka (fayda) Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana se ho chuka hai..aur Uttar Pradesh..sirf teen percent kisanonka bima hua”
(In BJP-ruled states, about 60-70% farmers have benefitted from Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, while only 3% farmers in Uttar Pradesh have been benefitted)
FACT: Modi is correct on the data for Maharashtra and Rajasthan, but he exaggerated the numbers for Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He is wrong about farmers who benefitted from the Fasal Bima Yojana in Uttar Pradesh.
In Modi’s home state of Gujarat – a state with one of the highest rain deficits in the largely normal monsoon of 2016, as IndiaSpend reported in October – a fourth of farmers have benefitted from the flagship crop-insurance scheme, not 60%-70% as Modi claimed.
This article first appeared on Fact Checker.