Record paddy procurement may pay off for Congress in Chhattisgarh -Sidharth Yadav & Priscilla Jebaraj
Raipur: Selling his paddy crop was a pleasantly different experience this year for Yogesh Nareti, a farmer with 17 acres of land in Makadi village in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, which goes to the polls this week.
“During the BJP reign, selling the produce at Large-sized Agricultural Multipurpose Cooperative Societies (LAMPS) was tedious. The entire process used to take two months,” he recalls. “Now, besides offering a lucrative MSP [minimum support price], the government has streamlined the procuring process. It takes just a month to receive the payment and you do not come across long queues of farmers outside cooperatives any more.”
He feels three months is too short a period of time to judge the Congress government that took charge in Raipur after 15 years of the BJP. However, he thinks the stark change in the paddy procurement process alone may pay off for the party in the Lok Sabha election. “Certainly, the Congress will get a positive vote,” he said.
If it was the promise of a farm loan waiver that buoyed the Congress to victory in the three State Assembly elections last November, it may be the record rate of paddy procurement that could keep the momentum going for the party in Chhattisgarh in the Lok Sabha election. Having promised an added Rs.750/ quintal bonus to the Central minimum support price of Rs.1,750 a quintal, the Chhattisgarh government has procured more than 80 lakh tonnes of paddy in this marketing season, an all-time high. Only Punjab has contributed a higher amount of paddy to the Central pool.
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