Sonia interacts with farmers ahead of Union Budget

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (UNI) Ahead of the 2008-09 Union Budget presentation, about 5,000 farmers and farm workers today met Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and presented a charter of demands which include waiver of loans, reduction in the rate of interest and remunerative price for farm produces.

Ms Gandhi spent nearly two hours with the farmers as she interacted with them in groups at her official 10 Janpath residence.

The farmers came from Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Haryana.

They narrated to Ms Gandhi, their problems like indebtedness, high cost of input, crop loss due to natural calamities, lack of power, spurious pesticides.

Their demands also included rehabilitation and resettlement of farmers affected by acquisition of land, extension of crop insurance scheme in all villages.

Ms Gandhi assured the farmers that their demands would be brought to the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot, Prabha Rau, Deepender Hooda, Mukul Wasnik were present on the occasion.

UNI SH MIR HS1824

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