Intro : Shri Rajnath Singh has asked Uttar Pradesh government to immediately distribute Rs 506 crore among farmers that have been given to it by the Centre for crop loss.
Amidst the reports of suicide by over a hundred farmers in Uttar Pradesh following crop loss due to recent unseasonal rains and hailstorm, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Chandauli Districts of Uttar Pradesh. On April 16, he met the effected farmers and also personally saw the damaged corps in Saharanpur District. Addressing a gathering of farmers at the DC Jain Inter College in Sarsawa, Shri Rajnath Singh asked Uttar Pradesh government to immediately distribute Rs 506 crore among farmers that have been given to it by the Centre for crop loss.
According to initial estimates, around 55 districts in Uttar Pradesh are effected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh pointed out that the unseasonal rains and hailstorms have damaged rabi (winter-sown) crops in about 113 lakh hectares of crop area in the country. Total cultivable area in rabi season stands at 600 lakh hectares.
Shri Rajnath Singh assured the farmers that the Central government is fully aware of their plight and is taking all possible steps to provide them succour. He made it clear that he was not visiting the rain-hit areas for the sake of politics but was really concerned about the problems of the farmers and asked all political parties to join hands in providing relief to the distraught farmers. “I am not here to blame anyone or criticise the State government. I appeal to everyone, all political parties, to join hands and give relief to farmers whatever way possible,” he said.
He said the Prime Minister is very concerned with the problems being faced by the farmers. We have already decided that those farmers, whose 33 per cent crops were damaged, will be given full compensation. “We have given clear instruction in this regard,” he said. He appealed to farmers also not to allow anyone to take his life due to crop damage. “Help any distraught farmer. Try to solve his problem or bring a public representative to him. Don't allow anyone to commit suicide,” he said. On April 19 Shri Singh visited Chandauli district and met the effected farmers. The farmers complaint to him that the bureaucracy is not showing sensitiveness towards their plight in the State.
—Surender Singhal from Saharanpur
BJP lays base in BTAD
The recently concluded Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) election in Assam signifies two important implications. First, Hagrama Mohilary led Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) maintains its domination once again though the Congress is seemingly losing its ground in Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD) area. The incumbent BTC chief Mohilary led his party to win 20 Territorial Council Seats (out of 40) in the election held on April 8. As the BTC rules four districts of Assam and comprises of 46 councillors, the rest six members are to be nominated by the State Governor from the unrepresented communities. Meanwhile, in a glittering function held in Kokrajhar on April 19, Mohilary was sworn in as the successive third time Chief Executive Member (CEM) of BTC by Assam Chief Secretary Jitesh Khosla in presence of Governor PB Acharya. Mohilary was followed by the deputy CEM Kampa Borgoyary with 12 other executive members. The BTC, which was constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India is an autonomous administrative unit inside Assam. It came into existence in December 2003 as part of the signing of Bodo Accord (Memorandum of Understanding) between the governments in New Delhi and Dispur and the Bodo Liberation Tigers (led by Hagrama Mohilary). An interim council was formed in 2003 after the accord was signed and the BTC went to polls for the first time in 2005. The Sentinel, a popular English daily newspaper from north-east India had editorialised the development saying that though the BJP manages to win only one seat, it is very important as the party has finally put up a base in BTAD area. Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, State Congress president Anjan Dutta with many other Congress leaders campaigned for the party candidates, though it resulted nothing. The party president Dutta confessed that they faced some difficulties in the BTC polls, but they have learnt lessons to go for the next Assembly election which is due early next year. The electorates (over 20 lakh) showed interest to exercise their franchise and recorded over 75 per cent poling rate, which is otherwise a welcome move in a troubled territory.