‘Bonus Festival launched is election gimmicks’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Oct 2017 09:55:10


Staff Reporter,


TERMING that the ‘Bonus Festival’ launched by Bharatiya Janata Party led State Government from Tuesday, not only as unfortunate, but also impractical, former Congress Legislative Party Leader Ravindra Choubey and Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee President Bhupesh Baghel said on one side suicides are being committed by farmers and on the other State Government is celebrating.

Addressing the mediapersons on the backdrop of launch of ‘Bonus Festival’ by Chief Minister at Baloda Bazaar on Tuesday, the former CLP Leader Ravindra Choubey while contradicting the Chief Minister’s statement that farmers in State are happy after announcement of bonus, he said both the Chief Minister and his government are suffering from misapprehension in this direction. Had it been not so, the State Government wouldn’t have imposed Section 144 throughout State fearing severe backlash by farmers soon after announcement of bonus.

Also a recent directive issued to district collectors that only farmers who are entitled for bonus should be allowed to attend Bonus festival, establishes that the State Government are fearing backlash from farmers. Choubey said recently during Vijay Dashami, two farmers including Kunjbihari Sahu from Kawardha and Kishanlal Dhevar from Kharora had committed suicide.

Both these farmers had breathed their last while undergoing treatment in Raipur. Unfortunately, neither any government official nor any Minister had time to visit the family members of these poor farmers. He said in ‘Mann ki Baat’ and ‘Raman Ke Goth’, one cannot find any reference on the plight of farmers.

On the contrary, the complete government machinery is trying to prove that those committed suicide are not farmers. The State Government is trying to float a new definition for farmers. Choubey said recently ended Monsoon Session of Chhattisgarh Assembly, Home Minister Ramsewak Paikra had accepted in the House that as on June 30, 2017, 1271 farmers had committed suicide, despite which, launch of Bonus Festival on the backdrops of suicides is nothing, but election gimmicks and face-saving exercise.

Had the government been honest on farmers’ cause, it would have announced the bonus of all three years amounting to approximately Rs 24,679 crore which would have covered (Rs 2100 per quintal MSP plus Rs 300 bonus). He asked what is the point of celebration by the state government on announcement of only Rs 2,100 crore as bonus, which amounts to merely 2.5% of state budget which exceeds over Rs 85,000 crore, despite 85% population in the state are of farmers.

Choubey further added that during previous Khariff season, the short term loan on farmers was approximately Rs 3200 crore plus Rs 800 crore approximately loan taken by farmers engaged in horticulture crop production. This amounts to approximately disbursement of total Rs 4,000 crore as short term loan to farmers, against which only
Rs 2,100 crore is being distributed. Since the bonus will be disbursed through cooperative societies, if the short term loan taken by farmers during the current Khariff season is adjusted from this bonus amount, one can imagine, what will the farmer get after adjustment.

CPCC Bhupesh Baghel questioned a directive given by Janpad Panchayat Chief Executive Officers from all over the state to all Sarpanch and Panchayat Secretaries that every elected panchayat office-bearers should ensure presence of at least 200 farmers/villagers in the Bonus Festival during CM’s programme apart from making arrangements of transportation and fooding.

Citing a letter issued by CEO Janpad Panchayat, Dongargarh for the scheduled visit of CM on October 6, the CPCC President said similar blanket letters have been issued state wide. Terming the directive as criminal intimidation, the CPCC President said Congress workers have submitted memorandums to respective district collectors for taking action against CEOs and ensure recovery of such amounts which are spent by Sarpanch/Panchayat Secretaries from Panchayat fund, from the CEOs.