Vote us to power, will waive farm loan in 10 days: Rahul Gandhi in Madhya Pradesh

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In poll-bound MP, shares farmers’ grief year after last year’s clashes in Mandsaur

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday promised farm loan waiver in Madhya Pradesh within 10 days, if his party was voted to power in the Assembly poll. The state is slated to go to the polls along with Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in October-November this year.

“If the Congress comes to power here (Madhya Pradesh), your (farmers’) loans will be waived in just 10 days. The government’s first duty should be to take care of the country’s farmers,” he said while addressing a rally at Pipliya Mandi in Mandsaur district. The rally was held to mark the first anniversary of police firing on farmers during an agitation in which six persons were killed.

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Addressing farmers, he said: “Modiji had promised you the right price for your produce. But how much do you get for your garlic and soya produce? Leave aside the Rs 15 lakh that he promised, has the PM given you even Rs 5?”

Dubbing the BJP government in the state as anti-farmer, Rahul Gandhi alleged that instead of working for the welfare of farmers, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government fired bullets on “kisans”.

Rahul Gandhi alleged the Chouhan government was duping farmers by not handing the money to those who sell their farm produce at mandis. “When you (farmers) go to the mandi, you get a cheque and then you go to the bank to deposit it. If the Congress comes to power, you will get the money directly in your hands at the mandi itself,” he said.

Rahul invited farmers and the common man to share their problems with party leaders. “We don’t want to tell you our mann ki baat, we want to hear your mann ki baat,” he told the gathering.

Earlier, Rahul met family members of three out of six persons who were killed in police firing during an agitation in Mandsaur last year.

Accusing the BJP-led government at the Centre of corruption, he said the NDA government was helping rich businessmen and friends. “The government gives only to the rich and takes away from the poor. Modiji calls Mehul Choksi Mehulbhai and Nirav Modi, Niravbhai,” Rahul said.

The party had also made loan-waiver announcements ahead of Punjab and Karnataka elections. It stormed to power in Punjab, while in Karnataka it formed the government with the support of JD(S).

The party believes that loan-waiver announcement will help it grab power in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgrah. The party aims to cash in on public anger against the BJP government to win assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where it has been out of power for 14 years. In Rajasthan, the party was thrown out of power in 2013.

Farm-loan waiver has always been a poll gimmick in India. Ahead of elections, political parties announce lucrative loan-waiver schemes to attract farmers. In March this year, the Congress adopted a resolution on “Agriculture, employment and poverty alleviation” at its 84th plenary session. The resolution at the plenary session was moved by Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh.


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