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  India   All India  13 Jun 2018  Rahul Gandhi meets family of farmer-scientist Dadaji Khobragade

Rahul Gandhi meets family of farmer-scientist Dadaji Khobragade

PTI
Published : Jun 13, 2018, 9:35 pm IST
Updated : Jun 13, 2018, 9:35 pm IST

Dadaji Khobragade had invented the revolutionary HMT variety of paddy, but died 'largely forgotten and in penury', Rahul Gandhi said.

 Congress President Rahul Gandhi had a 20-minute meeting with Khobragade's family members. (Photo: Twitter | @RahulGandhi)
  Congress President Rahul Gandhi had a 20-minute meeting with Khobragade's family members. (Photo: Twitter | @RahulGandhi)

Mumbai: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday met the family of late Dadaji Khobragade, the rural inventor who revolutionised rice farming in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district, and apologised for the nation's "apathy" towards his achievements.

Khobragade had invented the revolutionary HMT variety of paddy, but died "largely forgotten and in penury", Rahul Gandhi noted. The 78-year-old rice innovator, a native of Nanded village in Chandrapur in Vidarbha region, died earlier this month after a prolonged illness in Gadchiroli district.

"Dadaji Khobragade, a Dalit farmer-scientist, invented the revolutionary HMT variety of paddy. But, he died largely forgotten and in penury. I visited his home in Nanded, Maharashtra, to condole with his family and to apologise for our apathy as a nation, to his achievements," Rahul Gandhi told on Twitter.

Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot, its Maharashtra unit chief Ashok Chavan and Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil accompanied Rahul Gandhi during the visit.

"Rahulji enquired about the various rice varieties he has developed. Rahulji was also keen to know how their father (Khobragade) became so successful in developing so many varieties of paddy," Ashok Chavan told PTI.

The issue of patenting the rice varieties was also discussed at the meeting with his family members, he said. "Dadaji Khobragade developed 11 varieties of rice. However, none of them have been patented. The Congress has decided to follow up this issue with the state government and the Centre," Mr Chavan said.

Rahul Gandhi had a 20-minute meeting with Khobragade's family members in which no other Congress leader was allowed, he said. Later, the Congress president also held a 'chaupal', an interactive session with locals, at Nanded village, and attacked the BJP and the central government on a range of issues.

Tags: rahul gandhi, congress, dadaji khobragade
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)