The controversies surrounding farmers refuse to die down. In a latest incident, several media reports claim that a farmer sent Rs 1,064 he earned from selling 750 kg of onion to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as a mark of protest. The reports also claim that the PMO, instead of taking note of his plight, asked him to send the money through online transfer mode.
A report in Dainik Bhaskar claims that Sanjay Sathe, a farmer from Maharashtra’s Nashik, sent Rs 1,064 to the PMO through money order. He took this step to highlight hardships the farmers are facing as prices of onion have crashed much below the production cost. Nashik is the biggest wholesale market of onion in the country.
Sathe had sent the money from the post office of Niphad in Nashik district on November 29.
The same story has also been reported by Business Standard, ScoopWhoop, and The Logical Indian. All of them have quoted Dainik Bhaskar report as their source.
India Today Fact Check found this claim to be false. Sathe confirmed to us that he did send the money to the PMO through money order, but the PMO never asked him to send the money through online mode. The money order was in fact returned to Sathe.
The whole incident was reported in detail by YouTube Channel Mumbai Tak along with the interview of Sathe on December 11. It is important to note that even in this interview, he did not mention anything about the PMO asking him to send money through online mode.
We contacted Anuj Khare, the editor of Dainik Bhaskar, in Bhopal regarding the source of information in the news report. He directed us to a local reporter, Nilesh Desai, who had originally filed the report in Marathi. Nilesh told us that he did not write about the PMO asking the farmer to send money online in his report and has no idea how it appeared in the Hindi copy.
So, the reports about the PMO asking the distraught farmer to send money online rather than helping him is far from truth.