Seeking to corner the BJP over the agrarian crisis in Rajasthan, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to address a farmers' rally at Banswara in the state tomorrow. Gandhi will address the 'Kisan Aakrosh Rally' at the Guru Govind Singh College Ground in Banswara, where he is expected to raise the farmers' issues. Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot reached Banswara today to oversee the arrangements for the rally.
He also met the office-bearers of the party's state unit. Pilot said there was a lot of enthusiasm as regards the rally not only among the Congress workers, but also the farming community and people of the state. He exuded confidence that the rally would be "historic" and attended by a large number of people, who would show a mirror to the "anti-farmer" BJP government in Rajasthan, which had come up with "only false promises and slogans". According to Congress leaders, Rajasthan, with 40 lakh farmers burdened with loans, ranked third in this regard among all the states in the country. As per their estimate, around 4.68 crore farmers were burdened with loans across the country, with Uttar Pradesh topping the list, followed by Maharashtra. They claimed that the total loan burden of the farmers of Rajasthan was estimated to be Rs 20,000 crore, out of around Rs 2.5 lakh crore in the country. They also claimed that the erstwhile UPA government at the Centre had waived loans of Rs 72,000 crore of 3.60 lakh farmers with an average of Rs 20,000 for each of them. The Congress leaders pointed out that in the last two years, 61 farmers committed suicide in Rajasthan, with six taking the extreme step in the last fortnight. Pilot accused Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje of being "silent" on the issue and not paying any compensation to the farmers. He also claimed that during the UPA regime, the minimum support price (MSP) for crops was raised squarely, with an 8 to 12 per cent average annual increase, while the NDA had raised it only by one to five per cent annually.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)