MPís poll sop: Scheme to send farmers abroad

Taking competitive populism a notch up in the election year, the BJP government Sunday announced a slew of sops, including additional bonus on wheat and a scheme to send farmers abroad, while the party demanded a CBI probe into central farm loan waiver scheme.

Madhya Pradesh has increased the bonus on wheat from Rs 100 to Rs 150 (per quintal), a measure that had found immense favour with farmers, who will now get Rs 1,500, just hundred short of the minimum support price it wants the Centre to pay. The state last year paid more than Rs 800 crore on bonus alone.

Mukhyamantri Kisan Videsh Bhraman Yojana, special Lok Adalats to dispose of cases of pending electricity dues against farmers, allocation of Rs 1,000 crore over the next five years to promote group farming were among the announcements made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at a Kisan Mahapanchayat at jamboree maidan in Bhopal on Sunday.

"If ministers can go abroad so can farmers,'' Chouhan said of the new scheme, yet another in the long list of schemes named after the Chief Minister.

The meet passed a resolution asking the Centre among other things to roll back the increased fertiliser and seed prices, increase the MSP on wheat to Rs 1,600 on wheat and announce MSP for kodo-kutki.

BJP president Rajnath Singh alleged that the CAG had found massive irregularities in the farm loan waiver scheme under which waiver of Rs 60,000 crore was given to 3.5 crore farmers across the country.

Demanding that the CAG report be tabled in Parliament, Singh said a CBI probe should be ordered to find out who benefited from the scheme because the government auditor had found several irregularities in the 90,000 accounts it had audited.

Singh and Chouhan held the Centre responsible for all the disadvantages of agriculture and praised themselves and the BJP for the plusses.

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