Bhubaneswar: Adding fuel to the fire over the raging farm loan waiver issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday announced that it would give interest free crop loans to farmers, if voted to power.
Speaking to reporters here, the party’s state unit president Basant Panda said, “We will definitely form a government in the state and waive farm loans. We will also provide interest free loans to farmers.”
The BJP has made this announcement in the wake of its debacle in three Hindi heartland states mainly due to agrarian distress while Congress has already announced that they will waive farm loans after forming government in the state.
Alleging that there have been gross irregularities in paddy procurement centres (mandi) in the state, Panda said his party would launch a ‘mandi chala abhiyan’ (mandi march) from December 18 till January 7 and burn the effigy of the food supply and consumer welfare minister Surya Narayan Patro at all the mandis. Demanding waiver of farm loans and proper functioning of mandis, the farmers’ wing of the party will gherao the state secretariat and Naveen Niwas January 8—the same day when the BJD will demonstrate near Parliament.
Panda alleged farmers are being deprived of actual price (minimum support price) of the paddy due to an unholy nexus of the state government with rice millers.
“This is high time the state government hiked the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy instead of going to New Delhi,” he stated.
Lashing out at the BJD, Panda said the government has done nothing for the farmers over past 18 years. The state government is yet to provide Rs 100 bonus to farmers that the CM had announced in Bargarh. Calling BJD’s proposed protest in Delhi as just eyewash and a political gimmick, he said, if they have any kind of sympathy towards farmers, they should immediately waive crop loans. The farmers wing of the Pradesh Congress Committee said that they will also undertake some political programme for farmers on that day.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former Union minister Srikant Jena urged the state government to waive farm loans with immediate effect. Jena alleged that the BJD’s plan to go to Delhi over paddy MSP is a political gimmick. The government is only hoodwinking farmers with this move, he said. Reacting to BJP’s ‘mandi chala abhiyan’ programme, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the district administration will take appropriate action against officials concerned if there is any irregularity.
Leave a Reply