Meghalaya govt took Rs 1,500 cr loan to distribute to farmers ahead of elections: BJP

Efforts to reach government officials or senior party leaders for comments did not fructify.

Shillong: The BJP on Friday accused Meghalaya’s National People’s Party (NPP)-led government of availing a loan of Rs 1,500 crore to distribute to farmers under a scheme ahead of the assembly elections due next year.

State BJP chief Ernest Mawrie also alleged that the NPP is trying to show the beneficiaries that it is the programme of the ruling party.

The saffron party’s accusations came three days after Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma distributed Rs 5,000 each to more than 53,000 farmers of the state under the Focus+ scheme, under which peasants who are part of a group of producers get the money.

Efforts to reach government officials or senior party leaders for comments did not fructify.

Mawrie claimed that the Conrad Sangma government had taken a loan of over Rs 1,500 crore from foreign investors to woo voters ahead of the elections.

“I request the people of the state to be careful because you may receive Rs 5,000 but in future, you will have to repay back the loan with interest as it is not free and it is not a grant,” he said.

The BJP leader claimed, without elaboration, that if the government had taken a loan to implement the FOCUS+ scheme, the beneficiaries have to repay it in future as had happened earlier in the state.

Mawrie said that the state government should clarify from where the money had come to implement this scheme.

He said, “They (NPP) are fooling the people. Party workers are going door to door seeking bank details of farmers to give them Rs 5,000. Why did they not do it in the last 2-3 years if they want to really help the people?”

The NPP cannot misuse the government scheme for political gain, the BJP state president said.

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