NDA to mobilise farmers denied waiver and focus on price hike

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New Delhi, Mar 29 (UNI) The Chief Ministers of NDA ruled states today decided to focus on the ''twin failures'' of the UPA government -- checking price hike and inflation -- and mobilise farmers not covered under the farm loan waiver scheme of Finance Minister P Chidambaram, passed in Parliament recently.

A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting held by the Chief Ministers of the NDA ruled states at the residence of Leader of the Opposition L K Advani where seven Chief Ministers participated, with the exception of Bihar and Rajasthan Chief Ministers.

Bihar was represented by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Rajasthan, by its senior minister Rajendra Singh Rathore, NDA spokesperson Sushma Swaraj told newspersons.

She said the three-hour-long meeting which focussed on the ''discrimination'' meted out to the NDA ruled states, also highlighted the rising prices of essential commodities and petroleum products and inflation, touching 6.8 per cent had dented the family budgets of millions of poor and well-to-do households as well. The policies of the Centre in denying the due share of food grains for the NDA states had basically hurt the poor classes because they could not afford to buy rice and wheat from the open market.

The Centre had reduced the share of foodgrains of the Public Distribution System, under a new formula taking the average offtake of the states for the last three years.

She said the states were not lifting food grains for the PDS for the Below Poverty-Line families because there was hardly any difference between the prices of rice and wheat in PDS and the BPL families preferred to source their ration from the open market for the first two years.

However, the situation had turned very different now because of the vast difference in the prices of these grains in the open market and the PDS. "Reduction of grain allocation would mean you are denying the grains for the BPL families", Ms Swaraj argued.

Regarding farmers, the NDA would organise the farmers not covered under the farm waiver because the majority of farmers in dry and unirrigated area were at a total loss. The farmers in smaller irrigated land were able to raise loan upto Rs 60,000 from the banks whereas the the dry land farmers are unable to secure even Rs 5000 loan despite owning much bigger chunk of land. "We will organise these farmers at districts and state levels initially and probably think of holding massive rally at the national level", she said.

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