CHANDIGARH: A day after the Punjab government announced a loan waiver for farmers, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, reneging on his own earlier statement, announced that farmers in his state would not get a debt waiver.
Khattar's statement came a day after Amarinder Singh, his counterpart in the neighbouring state of Punjab, announced waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers owing up to 5 acres, and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of their loan amount.
Talking to his party workers on Tuesday, Khattar said in justification, "The situation in every state is different. We have already taken several initiatives for farmers. Unlike other states, we have given the highest per-acre compensation to farmers for crop losses."
Farmers and opposition parties in Haryana have been pressurising the BJP-led government to announce a loan wavier as offered by several other states.
Four days ago the Congress and Indian National Lok Dal blocked major highways in the state, including NH 1 which runs from Delhi to Amritsar.
Backing the farmers, Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar started a three-day hunger strike in Karnal. He said, "I have started this hunger strike in Khattar’s constituency to expose the anti-farmer policies of both the Centre and the state government.’’