On Monday, hours after swearing as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel made three important announcements: increased minimum support price (MSP) for maize, huge farm loan waiver and a special investigation team to investigate 2013 Jhiram Ghati Maoist attack, which wiped out leaders of Congress from the state.
At a press conference, CM Baghel said that “Congress President had announced that farm loans will be waived off within 10 days and MSP for maize will be increased from Rs. 1700 to Rs. 2500 per quintal. These two decisions have been taken,” flanked by two top ministers Tamradhwaj Sahu and TS Singh Deo, who was contending for the Chief Ministerial post in the state.
Short-term loans for farmers to tune of more than Rs. 6,100 crores to 16.65 lakh farmers, drawn from Chhattisgarh Gramin Banks and Cooperative Banks, as on November 30, will be immediately waived and loans borrowed from Commercial Banks will also be waived after proper examination, added CM Baghel, after chairing the first Cabinet meeting of the newly-formed UPA Government in Chhattisgarh.
Agricultural loan waivers were the party’s key promise to the farmers of the state ahead of the Assembly Elections. Meanwhile, newly-elected Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath has also waived farm loans as promised before elections, shortly after he swears as the Chief Minister of the state.
CM Baghel said, “Our third decision is related to Jhiram Ghati. 29 people including prominent leaders like Nand Kumar Patel were killed. The conspirators have not been exposed. No such massacre of politicians ever took place in history. To catch the culprits, SIT has been formed,” added that the incident was a “criminal political conspiracy.”
In May 2013, Maoists ambushed a convoy several senior Congress leaders. The dangerous attack had left more than 27 dead, including ex-Chief Minister Mahendra Karma and Congress state unit Chief Nand Kumar Patel.
CM Baghel continued, “The problem of Naxalism is very serious. Nobody can solve it instantly. They have a stronghold in the area. We will be successful in eliminating them if firm steps are taken with the support of the people in the Naxal-affected areas.”
Congress has acquired power in Chhattisgarh after ousting BJP-led Raman Singh government after 15-years of the rule. Congress scored 68-seats in Chhattisgarh in the 90-members Assembly Elections.