Raipur: Soon after taking charge as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel on Monday announced that his government will waive farm loans within 10 days as promised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi during campaigning of recently-concluded state Assembly election.
Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath also waived farm loans of Rs 2 lakh as promised at the time of elections, shortly after he took oath as the chief minister.
Addressing the media after his swearing-in ceremony, Baghel said, "Congress president Rahul Gandhi had announced that farm loans will be waived within 10 days and that Minimum Support Price (MSP) for maize will be increased to Rs 2,500 from Rs 1,700 per quintal. These two decisions have been taken today."
The agricultural loan waiver was the Congress' key promise to the farmers of Chhattisgarh ahead of the Assembly polls. During poll campaigning, Gandhi had promised to implement the loan-waiver programme within 10 days if Congress is voted to power in the state.
The chief minister also announced to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe May 25, 2013, Jhiram Ghati Naxal attack, in which 29 people including prominent Congress leaders like Nand Kumar Patel were killed.
"Our third decision is related to Jhiram Ghati. Total 29 people including prominent leaders like Nand Kumar Patel were killed. Conspirators have not been exposed. No such massacre of politicians ever took place in history. To nab the culprits, a SIT has been formed," the newly-elected chief minister said.
Congress had won 68 seats in the 90 member state Legislative Assembly to form the government by ousting the Raman Singh-led BJP government which was in power in the state for over 10 years.
Baghel is a Kurmi leader who represents Patan Assembly constituency in Durg district. He has also served as the president of Chhattisgarh Congress since 2014.