Rahul sounds poll bugle with farmers as sounding board

Mandsaur : Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday promised to waive farmers’ loans in Madhya Pradesh within 10 days if his party comes to power, and slammed the Centre and the state governments for the plight of the agriculturists.

“The day, the Congress comes to power in MP, count 10 days, I guarantee that farmers’ loan will be waived. It won’t take even the 11th day,” he asserted. He was addressing a rally held to mark first anniversary of a firing incident that claimed the lives of six farmers. The family members of three out of the six deceased farmers also shared the dais with Gandhi

Virtually kicking off his party’s campaign for Assembly elections, which are due towards the end of the year, Gandhi said if the Congress comes to power in MP, those responsible for the death of the six farmers would face strict action within 10 days.

 “Farmers all over are demanding their rights, yelling and committing suicides, but the government has little space for them,” the Congress chief said. “If India has ample food today, it is because of the farmers and not the big businessmen who are being rewarded and their loans are being waived off.

He said the NDA government has waived Rs 2.5 lakh crore of 15 industrialists but not even one rupee has been waived in the case of farmers.

As against this, he said the governments in Punjab and Karnataka, where the Congress is in power, have already waived farmers’ loans.  Gandhi recalled that the previous UPA government had waived farmers” loan to the tune of Rs 70,000 crore, “which is a record”.

Attacking Modi for his proximity to businessmen, he alleged that the prime minister has no time for the farmers and common people.  The BJP government has ensured that cheaters like Mallya and Nirav Modi get away easily. “However, if a farmer is in debt, he is harassed and commits suicide. But if a Mallya is under huge debt, he is offered even more money – hundreds of crores, so that he can leave the country and stay safe,” said Rahul Gandhi.

“Modi addresses Neerav Modi as Neerav Bhai. Under this government, defaulters are respected while farmers are in distress. The ruling party gifts huge loans to cheats, though this sum is enough to waive off farmers’ loans two times,” he said.

Rahul said he had met Modi in his (prime minister’s) office “only once” when he led a farmers’ delegation to seek help for the agriculture community but there was no assurance.

Taking a jibe at Modi’s famous Rs 15 lakh promise, he asked the people whether they had got a single penny in their account.

The Congress president said that his party would not privatise health and education sectors. He called upon the Congressmen to go to streets, villages and meet the people.

 Gandhi said people of the country are his first priority, party workers come second and Congress leaders come third. “The one, who remains connected with the people will only be able to form government,” he said.

Earlier, Gandhi met the families of those who had lost their kin in the police firing and consoled them.

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