Mysuru: Having beaten the BJP’s gameplan to take on his government on the issue of farmers’ loans, CM Siddaramaiah on Friday drove home his advantage, calling the saffron party anti-farmer and challenging it to waive off loans given by nationalised and gramina banks to farmers.
Recalling that Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu had asked the state government to bear the cost of loans taken by farmers from nationalised banks like Uttar Pradesh had done, he pointed out that the UP government had not issued a notification on this so far. “The UP CM has only written to the heads of the banks for information on farm loans and announced he will waive off merely the overdue amount of small and marginal farmers. But I have waived off the loans of farmers amounting to Rs 8,165 crore. Besides waiving Rs 50,000 across the board for 16,90,000 farmers, we have decided that the remaining 5.5 lakh farmers will not have to pay interest for loans upto Rs 3 lakh,” he said.
Advising BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to pressure his party’s government at the Centre to waive off loans given by nationalised banks to farmers, he turned the tables on the saffron party saying, “We are going to make it an issue before the people, focusing on the Centre’s biased attitude towards state’s farmers. Our government is pro- farmer,” he said.