C'garh Assembly: Cong, BJP clash over farmer suicides on Day 1

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Raipur, Dec 21 (PTI) The winter session of the Chhattisgarh Assembly began on Monday with the ruling Congress and opposition BJP fighting over farmer suicides.

After the BJP demanded compensation of Rs 25 lakh each to the kin of those who had killed themselves, the Bhupesh Baghel government claimed the opposition was running away from a discussion after BJP MLA Shivratan Sharma moved an adjournment motion on farmer suicides.

BJP MLAs alleged that paddy procurement, at Rs 2500 per quintal as announced by the state government, was still incomplete, adding that farm distress had caused suicides in Raipur, Surguja, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Kondagaon and several other districts.

However, state Cooperative Minister Premsai Singh Tekam said his government had waived off loans to the tune of Rs 5,260.60 crore of 13.46 lakh farmers, while Rs 4,630 crore in loans had been given at zero per cent interest to 12.65 lakh farmers.

In the Kharif crop season 2018-19, farmers were given Rs 2500 per quintal for paddy procurement while in 2019-20, they were given Rs 10,000 per acre as input support under the Rajiv Gandhi Kisan Nyay Yojana, he said.

'Under the RGKNY scheme, 18.38 lakh farmers have so far been paid Rs 4,488 crore in three installments. In the ongoing crop season, 21.48 lakh farmers have registered for selling their paddy at cooperative societies,' Tekam said.

After Congress MLA Satyanarayan Sharma, who was in the chair, asked the BJP MLAs to begin discussion on the issue, they demanded that the state government announce Rs 25 lakh as compensation to the kin of the deceased.

As the Congress accused the opposition of running away from a discussion, Sharma adjourned the House for five minutes.

After the House resumed, 13 BJP MLAs and one from Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) trooped into the Well of the House and were automatically suspended.

The House was then adjourned for the day. PTI TKP BNM BNM