“Take any of my speeches, you will not find any false promise made by me. Whatever we had committed to Chhattisgarh farmers those had been kept,” Mr. Gandhi said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday promised to replicate Chhattisgarh model in Odisha by implementing schemes such as waiving off of farm loan and increase in minimum support price of paddy above ₹2,500 per quintal.
Mr. Gandhi’s emphasis on farmer issues assumes significance as he was addressing a public meeting in western Odisha district of Bargarh which has recorded more number of farmers’ suicides than any other regions of the State.
Accusing both the Narendra Modi government and the Naveen Patnaik government of making false promises to farmers, he said, “take any of my speeches, you will not find any false promise made by me. Whatever we had committed to Chhattisgarh farmers those had been kept.”
“Bargarh is known as rice bowl of Odisha. But today, the famers are forced to commit suicide. Not a single day elapses when farmer suicide does not take place in a family either in Odisha or in India. Mr. Patnaik had promised to set up a chain of cold storages in the State and he had also made promises for providing irrigation. What happened to those promises? In every speech, Mr. Modi talks about farmers. In past five years, Mr. Modi had written off loan worth ₹3,50,000 crore of India’s 15 top rich industrialists,” Mr. Gandhi said.
“The Chhattisgarh government had returned land held by Tata Group to landowners as the industrial house failed to set up project in five years. We want to make similar provision in Odisha. The Modi government has tried to abolish the land acquisition law thrice in five-year tenure, but he has failed in his attempt. Farmers should be consulted when their land is being acquired and should get proper price for their land,” said Congress President.
Braving hot and humid condition, hundreds of supporters came to attend the meet. Mr. Gandhi’s announcement seems to have gained a lot of traction in Bargarh as majority of population depends on paddy cultivation. Moreover, Bargarh is bordering Chhattisgarh where the party recently ended 15 years of BJP rule.
Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and Niranjan Patnaik, Odisha Pradesh Congress President, also spoke on the occasion.
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