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First Day First Show: Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh governments waive off farm loans

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 18 December 2018, 08:34 AM
Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel waive off farm loans (Photo Source: News Nation)
Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel waive off farm loans (Photo Source: News Nation)

In a big relief to the farmers, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday waived off farm loans of up to Rs 6,100 crore and increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy from Rs 1700 to Rs 2500 per quintal. During his election campaigns ahead of 2018 Assembly polls, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that farmers in the three Hindi heartland states - Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan will get a loan waiver within 10 days of his party coming into the power.

"Congress President Rahul Gandhi had announced that farm loans will be waived within 10 days and that Minimum Support Price (MSP) for maize will be increased to Rs 2500 from Rs 1700 per quintal. These two decisions have been taken today," Baghel was quoted by ANI as saying.

Read | New Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath's first big step, waives off farmers' loans

Addressing a press conference in Raipur, Baghel also announced his third major decision, related to Jhiram Ghati attack in Bastar district. He said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been constituted to probe the Jhiram Valley Naxal attack in which many of the frontline Congress leaders were martyred in 2013.

"Our third decision is related to Jhiram Ghati. Total 29 people including prominent leaders like Nand Kumar Patel were killed. Conspirators haven't been exposed. No such massacre of politicians ever took place in history. To nab the culprits, a SIT has been formed," the chief minister added.

Read | Bhupesh Baghel takes oath as new Chhattisgarh Chief Minister

Two newly-inducted ministers - TS Singh Deo and Tamradhwaj Sahu - were also present at the press conference.

Soon after the announcement, Baghel took to Twitter and listed the three key decisions taken by the Congress government in its first cabinet meeting in Chhattisgarh.

Short-term agriculture loans to the tune of over Rs 6,100 crore of over 16.65 lakh farmers drawn from cooperative banks and Chhattisgarh Gramin Banks, as on November 30, 2018, will be completely waived, he tweeted. In his tweet, Baghel also promised to build a new Chhattisgarh under this newly formed Congress government.

The development came within a few hours of taking the oath of office this evening. Hailing from Kurmi OBC community, Baghel has become the third person to be the chief minister of Chhattisgarh.

Read | Arun Jaitley slams Congress for choosing Kamal Nath as MP CM, says Sikhs consider him 'culpable' in 1984 riots

Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to the senior Congress leader, who played a key role in reviving the party which had suffered three consecutive defeats in the previous Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh. 

Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath cleared the proposal of waiving farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh as promised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi ahead of assembly polls.

Briefing the media at the state secretariat after taking charge as new chief minister, Nath said, "After taking the oath, I have cleared the first file related to writing off loans up to Rs two lakh". Nath was sworn in as the 18th chief minister of Madhya Pradesh this afternoon.

It is widely believed the promise of farm loan waiver made by Rahul Gandhi helped the Congress to sweep both the heartland states where it was out of power for 15 long years.

Read | Ashok Gehlot takes oath as Rajasthan Chief Minister, Sachin Pilot sworn in as deputy CM

In a nerve-wracking see-saw battle with the BJP, Congress on December 11 bagged 114 assembly seats and secured the support of seven more MLAs, Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and four independent MLAs, to cross the simple majority mark of 116 in the 230- member Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

In Chhattisgarh, it was a clean sweep for the Congress with wins in 68 out of the 90 assembly constituencies.

First Published: Monday, December 17, 2018 10:23 PM
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