BJP-led states to pressurise Centre for changes in NCRF for farmers

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Jaipur, Feb 9 (UNI) BJP-led states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab will make joint efforts for building pressure on the Centre for inclusion of the cold wave and ground frost-related crop damages into the purview of the Natural Calamity Relief Fund(NCRF) for granting relief and/or compensation to the affected farmers.

The party MPs would also raise the issue in Parliament during the budget session, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje said here today.

Addressing the party MPs, MLAs, state office bearers at the BJP state headquarters here, Ms Raje said the Rajasthan Government had already written to the Centre on January 31 urging for inclusion of the clauses of cold wave/ground frost-related crop damages for relief/compensation udner the NCRF.

However, the Centre had so far conveyed no word to the state government, she informed.

She said she would again meet Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil and others concerned on Februay 12 in New Delhi, to press the demand.

"In the meantime, we are also in touch with state governments in Madhya Pradesh and Punjab which are also facing the same situation, and trying to make a joint and united bid to put up strongly our case before the Centre", the Chief Minister said.

She said these three BJP-ruled states could form joint delegations to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and/or others concerned at the Centre to build the pressure.

Expressing concern over the miseries of farmers in Rajasthan, Ms Raje said in several districts including Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh farmers had suffered crop damages to an extent of 50 to 60 per cent.

She said several districts in Rajasthan were facing this situation for the successive second or third year.

Later, the Chief Minister flagged off a party march to Rajbhawan for presentation of memorandum to Governor Shilendra Kumar Singh to press upon the above demand.

UNI SS AKJ RS1457

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