In 2018 rerun, Bhupesh Baghel promises farm loan waiver if Congress wins Chhattisgarh Assembly polls

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel during a public meeting ahead of the State Assembly elections, in Jagdalpur. File
| Photo Credit: PTI

In a major announcement ahead of the next month’s assembly polls, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel on October 23 said if his party Congress retains power in the state, loans of farmers will be written off.

The Congress had made a similar promise ahead of the 2018 assembly polls to farmers, a move which contributed in the party recording a landslide win and ending the 15-year rule of the BJP. The Baghel government had earlier said it fulfilled the 2018 promise and waived agriculture loans worth ₹9,270 crore of 18.82 lakh farmers in the State.

Addressing a function in the Sakti Assembly constituency with just a fortnight left for the first phase of polling, Baghel urged people to re-elect the Congress to power so that the party’s government writes off loans of farmers like it did after victory five years ago.

The Opposition BJP is yet to make any announcements for farmers, labourers, women or youths. So far, the Congress has made four key announcements — caste census, procurement of 20 quintals of paddy per acre, houses for 17.5 lakh people and now a farm loan waiver.

“We will give many more guarantees,” Baghel said.

“Today I want to make an announcement from this stage — farmers’ loans will be waived if you elect the Congress to power again,” he added.

In an interview to PTI last week, Mr.Baghel had called farmers a decisive factor in the outcome of the Assembly elections in the State and said their support will help the ruling Congress achieve its target of winning 75-plus seats in a 90-member House.

Polling in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases on November 7 and 17.

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