Akhilesh waives farm loans on papa's birthday

7.20 lakh farmers in UP to benefit from the scheme

Debt ridden farmers in Uttar Pradesh got a huge ‘gift’ from chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on the birthday of his father Mulayam Singh Yadav. On Thursday, he announced waiver of loans up to Rs 50,000 taken by farmers by pledging their land.

The decision will benefit 7.20 lakh farmers in the state and will result in waiving of loans amounting to Rs 1,650 crore, according to officials here.

The benefit will be given to only those farmers, who have paid at least 10 per cent of their loans by March 31 last.

Akhilesh said his party had promised farmers that it would waive their loans.
“We have now fulfilled our promise,” he said. Officials said it was a gift to the farmers on Mulayam’s birthday on Thursday.

Wooing farmers

Nurturing dreams to play a crucial role in the politics at the Centre after the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014 by securing a sizable number of seats from Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam is not leaving any stone unturned and his party government is aggressively wooing the farmers to garner their support in the next general elections and reap electoral dividends.

Akhilesh, who had recently met a delegation of  the Bhartiya Kisan Union led by its chief Rakesh Tikait, had assured them that the government would soon initiate steps to withdraw cases registered against the farmers during the previous Mayawati regime.

Clashes

The cases were filed after violent clashes with the police when they held demonstrations against acquisition of their fertile land by the government. The cases were later
withdrawn.

The Samajwadi Party government has also said that it will explore the possibility of waiving the toll charges for the farmers for using the Yamuna Expressway, a key demand of the farmers.

That also explains the government’s reluctance to act against the farmers, who have occupied the toll plaza near Meerut demanding waiving of toll charges for the farmers, for the past 20 days.

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