Cong VP tells Siddaramaiah to bail farmers out

Cong VP tells Siddaramaiah  to bail farmers out
In what is seen as a clear message to the party government in the state to waive farm loans, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday asked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to rescue farmers in distress.

“The distressed farmers are in need of help. It is important for the government to assist the farmers... I am confident that the Chief Minister is already looking into the issue and is working in this direction,” he stated, while addressing the extended KPCC general body meeting at the Jnana Jyothi auditorium here.

Rahul’s advice is seen as a bid by the party to pre-empt the state BJP’s threat to launch a stir demanding farm loan waiver. Siddaramaiah has been stalling a waiver decision,  claiming that he was ready to do it if the Centre waived loans availed by farmers from nationalised banks. Farm loan waiver, it is contended, will provide the much-needed moral high ground to the Congress to take on the BJP in the next assembly election.

This is not the first time the Congress vice president has nudged the party government in Karnataka to provide succour to indebted farmers. After visiting families of farmers who committed suicide in October 2015, he made the government announce a slew of measures, including higher  compensation, for the aggrieved families, which the government obeyed instantly.

“The BJP has abandoned the farmers. They (farmers) are in distress. They have accumulated massive loans...They deserve remunerative price for their produce,” he stated, adding that Opposition leaders, including him, were not allowed to enter the BJP-ruled states of  Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to meet farmers, who are up in arms.

Shifting focus on the next assembly poll, Rahul said only loyal leaders, who work for the party and the people, will earn the ticket to contest the next assembly poll. The “helicopter system” of ticket distribution has been done away with, he said. “Whoever interacts with the people regularly and who work for the party get a ticket,” he added, referring to an incident in Davangere where a local leader managed to get a party ticket at the last minute. The ticket was handed over to him using the helicopter system, he said and assured the Congress workers that the party will not entertain party-hoppers and last-minute entrants as far as ticket distribution is concerned.

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