BJP, Congress promise to waive farm loans in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 18 (IANS) The opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday promised to waive all farm loans in the state, if they are voted to power in the 2019 elections.

“The party would waive the agricultural loans in the state if it comes to power in 2019 elections. Besides, the party would make provisions for interest-free loans to farmers,” said BJP state unit president Basant Panda.

Panda said the party will organise ‘Mandi Chaala Abhiyan’ from Tuesday to January 7 across the state. He alleged that there were gross irregularities in the paddy procurement centres (mandis) in the state.

During the march, the party workers will stage demonstrations and burn effigies of Food Supplies and Cooperation Minister Surya Narayan Patro in front of all the mandis across the state.

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The opposition Congress also tried to cash in on the farmers’ issue as it announced to write off the agriculture loans if voted to power in the ensuing elections.

“The day Congress assumes power, it will announce a farm loan waiver. It is only because of the debacle in recent assembly elections the BJP has declared a waiver of farm loans,” said Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik.

He also promised to increase the MSP on paddy.

“Within 10 hours of forming government in Chhattisgarh, the Congress increased the MSP from Rs 1,700 to Rs 2500. It’s our solemn promise to the farmers of Odisha that when we form government in Odisha in 2019, we will do the same for them,” said Patnaik.

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Reacting to the opposition, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said they are only making statements without any basis.

He said the Naveen Patnaik government has taken several welfare measures for the farming community and will take other steps in the coming days.

IANS

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