Bhopal: Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday accused the Kamal Nath-led Congress government of completely destroying farmers and asked the party’s interim president, Sonia Gandhi, and former chief Rahul to apologise to the agri community.
Chouhan was leading a protest at Ichhawar in Sehore district as part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s statewide campaign on farmers’ issue. Calling Nath’s government anti-farmer and corrupt, Chouhan urged the Gandhis to amend their mistakes as farm loans were not waived in the first 10 days of the Congress coming to power as promised by Rahul while campaigning in the state.
“It is high time they (Sonia and Rahul) apologise to farmers and ensure that loans of the farmers are waived immediately,” said Chouhan.
The former chief minister said non-implementation of the waiver scheme dealt a major blow to even those farmers who had till then been making their payments regularly as they too fell in the defaulter category and lost benefits of interest-free loans and crop insurance, while the ones who had not been paying their dues continued to suffer anyway.
The senior BJP leader said the state government did not even pay the promised bonus on crops like wheat and soybean and warned of taking to the streets if the government failed to keep its words.
As part of the protest, BJP leaders also burnt electricity bills that they alleged were highly inflated. Chouhan said if the electricity department disconnected supply of consumers who were unable to pay such exorbitant bills, BJP workers would do the needful.
Later, speaking to News18, Chouhan said the Congress had promised to bring down electricity bills to a half, but consumers were instead receiving bills as high as Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000.
When asked about the Congress leadership asking senior BJP functionaries to stage a protest in Delhi demanding that the Centre sanction the flood relief package, Chouhan said it was state government’s duty to send estimates of damage and not that of the Opposition’s.
Chouhan will stay stage an overnight agitation on September 21 as a mark of protest against the condition of Mandsaur farmers who have been the worst affected by the deluge in the state. The agitation would continue till September 22 morning.