Kamal Nath takes MP charge… clears farm loan waiver in hours
Bhopal: Congress leader Kamal Nath was on Monday sworn in as Madhya Pradesh chief minister at a ceremony attended by a galaxy of leaders. Governor Anandiben Patel administered the oath of office to 72-year-old Nath, who led the Congress to victory in the recently-concluded state Assembly polls. No other minister took oath along with him.
Hours after taking charge, Nath cleared the proposal of waiving farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh as promised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi ahead of the Assembly polls. After he signed the relevant file, Principal Secretary (Farmers' Welfare & Agriculture Development Department) Rajesh Rajora issued an order in this regard.
The order stated, "Madhya Pradesh Government has taken a decision to write off short-term crop loan of eligible farmers up to the limit of Rs two lakh, as on March 31, 2018, from nationalised and cooperative banks." Soon after Nath signed the file, Gandhi tweeted: CM, Madhya Pradesh, waives farm loans. 1 done. 2 to go. Six farmers were killed in police firing at Pipliya Mandi during an agitation in June last year.
Addressing a public rally on June 7 at Pipliya Mandi in Mandsaur district, Gandhi had announced his party would waive farm loans within 10 of coming to power in the state. "Here Kamal Nath (MP Congress president) and Jyotiraditya Scindia (the state Congress poll campaign committee chairman) are sitting. The day the Congress comes to power in MP, count 10 days, I say with guarantee that farmer loans will be waived within 10 days. It won't take even the eleventh day," Gandhi had said at the rally.
Later, this announcement was included in the Congress manifesto, titled `Vachan Patra'. The Congress president had reiterated the farm loan waiver promise repeatedly during the campaigning for the November 28 assembly elections.The Congress won 114 assembly seats and secured the support of seven more MLAs - SP (1) and BSP (2) and four independents - to cross the majority mark of 116 in the 230- member Assembly.
National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his party leader Praful Patel, former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu, Trinamool Congress' Dinesh Trivedi, DMK leader M K Stalin and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav were among those present at the event.
BSP supremo Mayawati and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who have extended support to the Congress to form the government in the state, were not present.