Raipur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders in Chhattisgarh have offered support to the Congress government on its new cow dung scheme to boost the rural economy, days after they praised Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel for introducing the Godhan Nyay Yojana.
The Baghel government launched the scheme Monday, coinciding with ‘Hareli’, which is considered the beginning of the harvest season in Chhattisgarh. Under the scheme, the government will purchase cow dung from farmers and manufacture vermicompost at public cow sheds, called gothans.
Two RSS leaders in the state asserted that their offer of consultancy to the government during a meeting with CM earlier this month has nothing to do with the Congress-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politics. They said the support is only for the well-being of the farmers in the state.
They also highlighted their own campaign to support farmers in villages, saying it was a precursor to the government scheme.
However, BJP leaders said local RSS leaders’ move in the state “cannot be attributed” to the leadership of Sangh, the ideological parent of BJP. The RSS leaders denied this.
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What the RSS has said
During their meeting with Baghel on 7 July, RSS leaders asked him to increase the price of cow dung to be purchased under the scheme from Rs 1.50 to Rs 5 per kg, according to the leaders. The government has fixed this price at Rs 2.
The RSS also pushed for the production of non-chemical fertilisers using cow urine and dung for better foodgrains during the meet, they said.
“We have expertise and technology to manufacture insecticides and other products from cow urine and cow dung. Many farmers across the state have been trained to manufacture quality insecticides and organic fertilisers following consultancies and training programmes organised by us under our ‘Gau Gram Swavlamban Abhiyan Chhattisgarh’,” said RSS pracharak (campaigner) Bhuneshwar Sahu, who coordinates the Sangh’s rural campaign.
Sahu said the RSS campaign started on 4 November last year and was a precursor to the government’s Godhan Nyay scheme.
“Training programmes to manufacture vermicompost and insecticide have been organised in many blocks of the state following which farmers have been benefited substantially,” said Sahu.
The RSS leaders said they will launch a massive signature movement across the country to rope in 50 lakh farmers for their campaign.
Speaking about the politics of the RSS support, Sahu said, “We appreciated Baghel not for being a Congress leader but as chief minister of the state who has come up with a farmer-centric scheme that has huge potential to strengthen the rural economy. We also have the consent of Sangh’s state leadership in all our endeavours.”
He said, “People tried to politicise the issue but they must understand that RSS is a non-political organisation that works for the nation and its people. We firmly believe that a strong rural economy is the key to the sustainable development of India.”
Subodh Rathi, another RSS leader in Chhattisgarh and a member of its campaign, said the unit is willing to extend all help to the government for the financial progress and welfare of the farmers.
“Cow dung business will prove to be a great success model if taken in its real perspective. Most importantly, it will reduce the farmers’ dependence on the nitrogenous fertilisers that have proven costly for the rural economy as well as fertility of the soil,” he said.
The Godhan Nyay Yojana will be launched at 2,785 gothans that have been set up to purchase cow dung for making vermicompost. This will be sold to the farmers and other consumers at Rs 8 per kg.
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BJP mocks scheme
While the RSS has offered support to the government, former CM Raman Singh said last week the move hasn’t come with support from the Sangh leadership.
“Meeting of individual RSS workers and praising the chief minister cannot be attributed to the Sangh leadership,” he said.
He told the media that the Bhupesh Baghel government has not been serious towards the development of the people and the state. “This scheme is eyewash to divert public attention from its failures,” he said.
BJP leaders in the state also criticised the Godhan Nyay scheme after its announcement last month. Taking a dig at the government, senior BJP leader and former state cabinet minister Ajay Chandrakar had tweeted then, “Considering the importance of cow dung in Chhattisgarh, it must be made the state emblem.”
छत्तीसगढ़ के वर्तमान राजकीय चिन्ह को नरवा, गरवा, घुरवा, बारी की अपार सफलता और छत्तीसगढ़ की अर्थव्यवस्था में "गोबर" के महत्व को देखते हुए इसे राजकीय प्रतीक चिन्ह बना देना चाहिए👇👇👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/pAbTm6KHMW
— Ajay Chandrakar (@Chandrakar_Ajay) June 26, 2020
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