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After poll loss, Rajasthan BJP tries to woo angry farmers

After the rout in the three by-polls and the proposed siege of the assembly planned by the CPI(M) on February 22, the BJP government appears to be working hard to dispel resentment among farmers

jaipur Updated: Feb 20, 2018 22:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan news,armers’ debt relief commission,crop loan waiver
The Rajasthan government has announced to waive off farm loans up to Rs 50,000. (HT File Photo.)

After the rout in the three by-polls and the proposed siege of the assembly planned by the CPI(M) on February 22, the BJP government appears to be working hard to dispel resentment among farmers.

The BJP organized a series of press conferences in different cities of the state to drive home the message that the government is “farmer friendly” and has taken a number of measures for their betterment.

At a press conference in Jaipur on Tuesday, state industry minister Rajpal Singh Shekhawat said the BJP government has taken historic decisions for the benefit of farmers such as crop loan waiver that will benefit 20 lakh farmers and the setting up a farmers’ debt relief commission.

The loan waiver will benefit more than 20 lakh farmers of loan amount of ₹8,000-9,000 crore, he said.

“The debt relief commission will be made a statutory body so that it has protection of law.”

Meanwhile, ahead of the CPIM’s proposed siege of the assembly, Jaipur police rounded up more than 85 farmers from the outskirts of Jaipur who were planning to march towards Vidhan Sabha.

Among the arrested were farmer leaders and former CPI(M) MLAs Amraram and Pemaram,

The police later released more than a dozen of them on bail and arrested the remaining under Section 151 of CrPC (preventive custody).

On September 12, the BJP government had announced a loan waiver after 11 days of angry protests by farmers.

The government, however, failed to assuage the anger among farmers who did not extend support to the BJP in the three by-polls which the party lost. It is now making efforts to woo farmers.

Reeling off a host of statistics, Shekhawat said the BJP government has also waived off cooperative crop loans worth ₹50,000 for farmers.

The Rajasthan government will establish warehouses with capacity of 5 lakh metric tons at a cost of ₹350 crore, he said.

He further said that the government has disbursed interest-free loans worth ₹80,000 crore to farmers and has also issued grants worth ₹38,000 crore.

The government will provide interest-free loans to the RAJFED for purchase of mustard and chickpea from farmers at the minimum support price, the minister said, adding that the government will provide 2 lakh electricity connections to farmers.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 22:18 IST