Rahul Gandhi to attend thanksgiving rally for farmers in Chhattisgarh today
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Rahul Gandhi to attend thanksgiving rally for farmers in Chhattisgarh today

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is slated to reach Chhattisgarh capital Raipur today for a farmers’ gathering.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2019 07:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress,Rahul Gandhi,India news
Congress president Rahul Gandhi at a public meeting 'Parivartan Sankalp Samavesh' at Tamando in Khurda District, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (PTI file photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi is slated to reach Chhattisgarh capital Raipur today for a farmers’ gathering.

During his day-long visit, his first after swearing-in of the Bhupesh Baghel-led party government, he will participate and address the ‘Kisaan Abhaar Sammelan’, intended to express gratitude to people and farmers for bringing the party back to power in the state after 15 years, PTI news agency quoted a state Congress spokesperson as saying.

The Congress had posted a massive victory in the November assembly polls, winning 68 of the total 90 seats.

A large number of farmers from across the state, including the Maoist-affected Bastar region, will participate in the event where beneficiary farmers will be distributed loan waiver certificates, the spokesperson added

Ahead of the state assembly elections, Gandhi had assured to waive farm loans if his party was voted to power while campaigning for the assembly polls and within hours of the government’s formation, the promise was kept, the spokesperson said.

While loans to the tune of over Rs 6,100 crore of 16.60 lakh farmers have been written off, the Congress had also moved to implement another pre-poll promise, by procuring paddy at a rate of Rs 2,500 per quintal from the state’s farmers.

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Besides, the Baghel government has waived outstanding irrigation tax amounting to Rs 207 crore of 15 lakh farmers, he added.

Chief minister Baghel and party in-charge of Chhattisgarh P L Punia on Sunday took stock of the preparation for the function to be held at Rajyotsav Mela ground in Naya Raipur at 2 pm.

Gandhi had also been invited by the chief minister to a programme for return of land acquired from tribals in Bastar district, mostly in Lohandiguda area, in 2008 for a Tata Steel project. The acquisition had led to widespread protests. However, this subsequently failed to take off and the company had formally pulled in early 2016.

The Congress had also promised that this land would be returned to the farmers, if it came to power and the Baghel government had issued the orders earlier this month after the cabinet cleared it in late December. The chief minister had invited Gandhi to the event which was planned to kick off this month end. However, it was not clear whether this event would be held during the Congress chief’s present visit.

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First Published: Jan 28, 2019 07:39 IST