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Madhya Pradesh: Rs 1,000 Cr BJP-era Scam Discovered While Processing Farm Loan Waivers

Irregularities suggest that during the BJP govt’s rule, money was pocketed in the name of lending credit to farmers.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finds itself in the middle of another potential scam. As per a report in the Deccan Herald, the Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has discovered Rs 1,000 crore-worth discrepancies while processing the debts owed by farmers.

The Congress government in M.P., right after coming to power, approved a farm loan waiver scheme under which dues of farmers worth Rs 2 lakh would be waived in the state. However, per the Deccan Herald report, irregularities surfaced as the government began processing names of beneficiaries for the farmers’ loan waiver scheme at the panchayat level. Several farmers across the state, the Herald reported, protested over their names being in the list, claiming that neither had they taken any loan nor did they have any outstanding payment with any bank.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath has reportedly ordered a probe into this. The irregularities suggest a scam, carried out during the previous BJP government’s rule, where money was pocketed in the name of lending credit to farmers on zero per cent interest.

Cooperatives minister Govind Singh, speaking to the Herald, said, “It’s a huge scam, and we will get it investigated.”

In the past few years, cooperative bank employees, the report said, had been fraudulently withdrawing money belonging to poor farmers. They were also availing benefits of the scheme without the knowledge of the farmers, whose names figured in the list as defaulters, reported Deccan Herald.

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According to a News Click report, the Madhya Pradesh police recently arrested Mukesh Mathur, a former manager of Chinor Cooperative Bank in Gwalior, in connection with a Rs 120-crore fraudulent farm loan distribution scam. The police have launched a search to arrest the other accused, Kalicharan Gautam, who was the secretary of Urwa Sakh Cooperative Society.

The report notes that while a corruption case against Mathur and Kalicharan was registered on August 28, 2016, at Chinor police station by farmers, for sanctioning farm loans in their names, and having withdrawn it; no action has been taken against them owing to their alleged political connections.

The irregularities became visible to the present regime when lists of farm loan waiver beneficiaries were published at panchayats. Soon after, the farmers reportedly lodged a complaint with the district magistrate and with the departments concerned.

Per the News Click report, the farmers claimed that they had taken Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loan from Seva Cooperation Society, Mahadia, and also paid it back. They alleged that despite repaying the loan on time, the list of loan waiver shows repayment of interest against their names. The farmers claimed that they were given credit at zero interest, but their interests were calculated separately. They demanded investigation against the bank officials as well as cooperative societies.

In districts such as Harda, Sehore, Dewas, Neemuch, Mandsaur and Indore, such cases have been reported as well.

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