Parties make tall offers to woo farmers on poll eve

Bhubaneswar: With 2019 assembly election inching closer, the three major political parties in Odisha have begun wooing games to make farming community as a vote bank. A day after ruling BJD announced to roar in Delhi demanding hike in MSP of paddy and implementation of Swaminathan Committee report, BJP today put a step forward in its latest bid to lure farmers.

BJP State president Basant Panda announced crop loan waiver and loan to farmers with zero interest rate if the party is elected to power. The BJP, which has been alleging government’s unholy nexus with millers, today commenced ‘Mandi Chalo Abhiyan’ (move to Mandi) which will continue till January 7.

Panda also called upon the party workers and people to gherao Secretariat on January 8 pitching for crop loan waiver.

BJD, on the other hand, dubbed BJP’s Secretariat gherao plan as a poll plank as the regional party is going to demonstrate in front of the Parliament on the same date. BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said that saffron party is afraid of BJD’s popularity. Therefore, it planned its demonstration on the same day.

Congress has also remained closed to other parties in offering pro-farmer promises. The grand old party which had promised free loan waiver, free solar pump sets and financial assistance for farmers two days ago, today reiterated its offers for farming community. PCC president Niranjan Patnaik said “The day on which we come to power, farmers will get rid of their loan burden. Solar pump sets and financial assistance will also be provided to farmers. All these pro-farmer programmes are our initiatives while BJP and BJD only imitate us”, Patnaik added.

Similarly, his party colleague and former union minister Srikant Jena lambasted the state government for remaining mum on farmers’ issues.  He warned the government of non-cooperation in any manner if it fails to free farmers from debt-burden, Jena added.

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