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Odisha BJP chief demands loan waiver for 'distressed' farmers

ANI  |  Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India] 

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Basant Panda on Tuesday demanded farmers' loans to be waived off. He also announced that they will hold a protest on January 8 for the same.

"Odisha's farmers are in distress for various reasons. Nobody is purchasing their harvest at the prescribed Minimum Support Price. We demand that farmers' loans be waived off. BJP will protest in front of the Secretariat on January 8," Panda told ANI.

Reacting to Panda's statement, spokesperson of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) Sasmit Patra alleged that Panda was trying to do a political stunt.

"He (Panda) is trying to do a political stunt. Since they are in the Centre, we hope that he will be able to talk to the central leadership and waive off loans for farmers in the entire country," Patra said.

On October 28, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had assured that farmers' loans in Odisha would be waived off once the BJP comes to power in the state.

Pradhan's assurance came after several cases of farmer suicides due to crop failure were reported from the state.

On the other hand, Odisha Congress President Niranjan Patnaik said his party will waive off farmers' loans if they come to power in the next state elections. Apart from waiving off loans, Patnaik said the Congress will provide solar pumps and other kinds of financial assistance to farmers.

"BJP has nothing to do with farmers' problems, they are talking about farmers just because of the recent defeat in elections," he claimed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 18 2018. 23:55 IST