Chiddi Sharma, a farmer in Ading village of Mathura, has received 1 paisa or ₹00.01 as part of the U.P. government’s flagship crop loan waiver scheme, which promises a relief of up to ₹1 lakh to the 86 lakh farmers in the State. Mr. Sharma, one of the many farmers who have been given waivers of minuscule amounts, says his is the “cruellest joke” as no one in the State has been paid 1 paise as relief for losses running into lakhs.‘Blessing for farmers’Announced in April this year, a month after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came to power in U.P., the ₹36,000-crore ‘Rin Mochan Yojana’ had come as a blessing for debt-ridden farmers of the State. Even as the Adityanath government competed six months, Mr. Sharma got a message on his phone from Punjab National Bank on Sunday that he had got a loan waiver of 1 paisa as part of the flagship scheme.When The Hindu met the 52-year-old farmer in his humble one-room house,Mr. Sharma was visibly angry. “I had distributed sweets in April when Yogiji announced the loan waiver. I had taken loan of ₹1.55 lakh from the Punjab National Bank six years ago, but could not repay it that due to repeated losses in farming. Today I do not know whether to laugh or cry. Many leaders have played with the emotions of the farmers, but this one by Yogiji is the cruellest of them all,” said Mr. Sharma who owns five bighas of land and comes under the category of “marginal farmer”. Waiver certificate“Since the day Yogiji announced the ₹1-lakh loan waiver scheme, I had only been thinking about it. I don’t know what to say now. The six-month wait has resulted in 1 paisa in my account,” Mr. Sharma said, waving the loan waiver certificate embossed with the photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Adityanath, with the slogan “har kadam kisanon ke saath (with farmers in their every step)” running under them.“I don’t want to speak much but what is the point of advertising ₹36000 crore. How come other farmers in Mathura who took almost the same amount as me and who were in a similar situation, got the full waiver of ₹1 lakh,” asked Mr. Sharma, flanked by his son Banwarilal Sharma and his two sons. Since the news of 1-paisa loan waiver broke, Mr. Sharma has been receiving hordes of journalists and photographers at his home.The media attention is also proving to be a pocket pinch for the family, said Banwarilal Sharma who had spent over ₹100 on tea and snacks for the reporters visiting them.Opposition fumesWhile there are many beneficiaries of the loan waiver scheme who have got a relief as low as 40 paisa, no one else in the State has a certificate that matches the 1-paisa laon waiver to Mr. Sharma. His case has already given ammunition to the Opposition leaders in the State. Former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted on Monday: “Bhool chukey jo apna sankalp patra, shweta patra unka bahana hai (The white paper is an excuse for those who have forgotten their poll promises)”.Two-account theoryThe district manager of PNB bank, P.K. Singh, said that a case like that of Chiddi Sharma may have happened because of two accounts in the same bank. “Under the scheme those accounts of farmers ended up getting selected in which the money was either repaid or there was a meagre loan amount left,” said Mr. Singh. But Mr. Sharma said he never had two accounts in PNB, so there was no chance of any confusion. Probe orderedThe district officials of Mathura have ordered a probe into Mr. Sharma’s case. ADM Mathura Sadanand Gupta told Mr. Sharma that it was a mistake on part of PNB and directed the bank officials to issue a new certificate. The District Magistrate of Mathura, Arvind Malappa, told The Hindu, “I looked at the case of of Chiddi Sharma and it seems that it happened due to some technical error which we are trying to sort out.”
The BJP on December 24 wrested both the Pakke-Kessang and Likabali Assembly seats from the Congress in the bypolls to these constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh. With this, the 60-member State Assembly now has 49 MLAs from the saffron party, nine from the Peoples’ Party of Arunachal (PPA), one Congress and one Independent legislator. B.R. Waghe of the BJP won the Pakke-Kessang seat by a narrow margin of 475 votes, defeating his lone rival and former Deputy Chief Minister Kameng Dolo of the Congress. While Mr. Waghe polled 3,517 votes, Mr. Dolo bagged 3,042, Joint Chief Electoral Officer D.J. Bhattacharjee said.In the Likabali seat, BJP’s Kardo Nyigyor won by a slender margin of 305 votes, defeating his nearest rival, Gumke Riba of the PPA. While the BJP candidate polled 3,461 votes, the PPA nominee secured 3,156 votes in the constituency, which witnessed a multi-cornered contest. While the Congress candidate Modam Dini could secure only 362 votes, the lone Independent candidate, Sengo Taipodia, bagged 675 votes. The constituency also saw 23 voters opting for NOTA, Mr. Bhattacharjee said. Over 68.5% electors had voted in the December 21 bypolls, with Pakke-Kessang recording an 86% voter turnout and Likabali 51%. The Likabali seat had fallen vacant after then Health and Family Welfare Minister Jomde Kena passed away on September 4. The Pakke-Kessang seat fell vacant after the Gauhati High Court declared the election of Mr. Dolo from the constituency in the March 15, 2014 polls null and void, following an election petition filed by BJP nominee and former Minister Atum Welly.Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju congratulated the BJP members for the victory in the bypolls.
FILE PHOTO – PH Chinlone team wins the 1st silver for the country during the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZThe Philippines earned a podium finish in sepak takraw in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The Philippines won the bronze medal in the men’s doubles event sharing the plum with Laos.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Myanmar won the gold while Malaysia settled for silver.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Centeno wins gold, Amit settles for silver anew in women’s 9-ball Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo LATEST STORIES Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasion Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.