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BJP pat for Yeddyurappa, flak for Chidambaram

Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party will hold village-level meetings for three months from April 7 “to educate” farmers on the Centre’s loan waiver scheme and “to highlight” the fact that it will not cover borrowings from private moneylenders. But the party admits that the scheme announced for farmers in the 2007-08 Karnataka budget, presented by its own leader, B.S. Yeddyurappa, also did not include such borrowings.

Party general secretary Ananth Kumar told the press here on Thursday that in fact there was no survey of farmers who owed money to private moneylenders and no assessment was made.

The decision to hold village-level meetings — khet bachao kisan adalats — was taken at a meeting of general secretaries here on Wednesday evening. It is evident that in Karnataka, where elections are expected to take place in May, the BJP is gearing itself up to counteract the effect of the Centre’s loan waiver.

Mr. Kumar was all praise for the scheme announced by Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is being projected as the party’s chief ministerial candidate. However, while criticising the scheme announced by Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram for not covering all loans, he admitted that Mr. Yeddyurappa’s scheme had also left out borrowings from moneylenders for, practically it was not easy to ascertain facts and get documentation of such loans.

The BJP would also stage agitations against price rise across the country over one week from April 7.

“The wholesale price index is hovering around 6 per cent … we will organise dharnas, rallies, protest meetings and marches throughout the country.”

On April 8, the BJP would observe in the capital the death anniversary of martyr Mangal Pandey as part of the ongoing celebrations of 150 years since the First War of Indian Independence.

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