Congress to hold farmers’ rally in Chhattisgarh

March 2nd, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

Raipur, March 2 (IANS) Inspired by the Rs.600 billion ($15 billion) loan waiver announcement of Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Friday in the union budget, the Congress party in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Chhattisgarh will hold a farmers’ rally here March 4. The rally, to be addressed by many senior state Congress leaders including former chief minister Ajit Jogi, will be part of the party’s series of upcoming public meetings in the state to counter the ruling party.

The move comes against the backdrop of the BJP government’s recent decision to provide 35 kg of rice every month to each of the state’s 3.4 million poor families at Rs.3 per kg.

Chhattisgarh is expected to go to the polls in October-November this year.

The Congress has asked all its 34 legislators besides state party office-bearers to do their best to ensure the success of Tuesday’s rally. The party feels that the loan waiver proposal could bring it back to power in the mineral rich state.

According to officials, about 500,000 small farmers in the state, mostly from Raipur, Durg, Dhamtari, Mahasamund, Bilaspur and Rajnandgaon districts, have outstanding loans worth Rs.48.1 million taken from various cooperative banks for paddy cultivation.

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