Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday promised that the Congress would waive farmers’ loans if it is voted to power again in the upcoming Assembly election.

Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases on November 7 and November 17. The results will be declared on December 3.

“Today, I am announcing from this stage...the way we had waived off the loans of farmers the last time, if we form the government again, the farmers will have their loans waived off again,” Baghel said while addressing a rally in the Sakti district.

“The stronger our farmers are, the stronger will be our economy,” the chief minister told reporters later in the day. “In the past five years, we have seen that the business and trade has increased here.”

Baghel said that if the Centre would waive the loans of industrialists, the Congress would do so for farmers.

“The government of India waived off Rs 14.5 lakh crore of big industrialists but what was its effect on Indian economy? But in Chhattisgarh, when we waived off the loans owed by farmers, it had an impact on businesses and lives.”

The Congress had promised to waive farmers’ loans during its 2018 poll campaign as well. After it won power, it announced the waiver of farmers’ loans to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore, according to The Hindu.

However, BJP leader and former chief minister of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh asked why farmers in the state were saddled with debts in the first place. He claimed that the Congress engaged in deception in 2018 by promising a complete farm loan waiver.