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Rahul showed mirror to Shivraj by embracing farmers


Pravesh Kumar Mishra, New Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday virtually launched his party’s campaign for the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, scheduled for around November, by promising loan waiver to farmers within 10 days if the Congress is voted to power. He directly attacked the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government forcing it on the back foot. Gandhi gave the message that the future of the farmers is safe in the hands of Congress. Gandhi asserted that his party sought to transform the lives of the people in MP by improving agriculture, setting up food processing units in every district and creating jobs for the youth. By raising the issue of jobs to the youth he has made a successful attempt to win the support of the young generation besides the peasants. The farm distress is real, and the Congress is hopeful that it can make Pipliyamandi into the nerve centre of farmers’ grievances against not just the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led state government, but also the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. Gandhi reviled Prime Minister Modi and Chouhan for not paying heed to concerns of the farmers, while writing off loans of big industrialists. He said 1,200 farmers had committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress showcased not just the United Progressive Alliance’s farm-friendly policies, but also those of previous Congress governments. By promising to increase support price and cash payment at the mandis, Gandhi has tried to create an atmosphere that Shivraj government is anti-farmer. However, plummeting prices of crops in the last few years, because of sundry reasons, including overproduction, is a concern for farmers. Garlic, a key post-harvest inter-crop, is selling at Rs 1 a kg. The sharp drop in prices of agricultural commodities has also hit ancillary industries. By talking about Made in Mandsaur, Gandhi has indicated that the Congress wants development to reach small cities. This has not only sent a positive message among farmers of Madhya Pradesh but also neighbouring states.

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