BENGALURU: Having achieved his goal of becoming the chief minister of Karnataka again, B S Yeddyurappa strode into Vidhana Soudhan bang on at 10.30 am on Thursday like a man on a mission.
Keen on keeping his party’s promise to waive loans up to Rs 1 lakh of farmers and weavers by making an announcement within hours of his assuming office, the BJP leader straightaway chaired a one-member Cabinet meeting with senior officials of the state bureaucracy. This included the loans which had been taken by the farmers and weavers from both nationalised co-operative banks.
However, by 11.30 am, a rather deflated Yeddyurappa entered the conference hall of the secretariat to announce that the announcement of loan waiver has been “deferred”.
Yeddyurappa was only trying to outdo his predecessor, chief minister Siddaramaiah,who announced the Rs 4,000-crore “Anna Bhagya” scheme providing seven kg free rice to every BPL family. According to BJP manifesto, the waiver of farmers’ loans totals a whopping Rs 53,000 crore.
According to informed sources, Yeddyurappa’s wings were clipped when he first sought for details on the extent of farm and weaver loans from chief secretary Ratna Prabha and the finance department. With the state bureaucracy making it clear that it will require time to collate it, Yeddyurappa’s plans went for a toss.
According to officials, the loan waiver scheme could not be discussed at all considering that there is no scheme in place for the said purpose.
Briefing the media later on the rather “disappointing” turn of events, Yeddyurappa said the loan waiver scheme will be implemented in a day or two.
“While I had assured the people of this state that the farmers and weavers loans will be waived on me taking charge, the chief secretary and the bureaucracy told me that they will require at least 24 hours to secure all the data and details from the banks. The details will be secured and I assure the people of Karnataka that the loans will be waived in a day or two,” he said.
Later, at a party event to congratulate the CM, Yeddyurappa himself admitted that his intent of splashing the headlines with the loan waiver scheme came to nought.
“I was hoping to announce the loan waiver for the farmers and weavers who had taken loans even from nationalised banks, but it could not be done. However, it will be implemented shortly,” he said.