Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said if his party were to be elected to power in Madhya Pradesh in the upcoming Assembly elections, it would waive farmer loans within 10 days of taking over. Gandhi was addressing the Kisan Samriddhi Sankalp rally in Mandsaur district to mark the first anniversary of the farmer agitation in which six farmers were killed in police firing.
He had met the families of the deceased farmers soon after arriving in Mandsaur.
“[The Narendra] Modi government praises farmers but when they demand the right price for their produce and ask for their loans to be waived, his government does not listen,” Gandhi said at the rally. “The families of the farmers [who were killed in Mandsaur last year] will get justice in 10 days and we will take action against those responsible for the firing.”
Gandhi’s rally comes at a time when farmers in Madhya Pradesh and in other states are on a 10-day strike, demanding debt waiver, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report and a minimum income guarantee scheme.
The Congress president took a swipe at the prime minister’s monthly radio address. “I will not tell you my ‘mann ki baat’ but I will listen to yours,” Gandhi said.
The Opposition party leader promised to set up food processing units in every district of Madhya Pradesh. “Farmers will be able to sell their produce directly to factories,” he said. “We will create a food chain from where the produce will go the cities and farmers will directly receive the money due to them.”
The Congress president was expected to meet senior leaders of Madhya Pradesh Congress, including Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, NDTV reported.
How much does he know, asks Jaitley
Meanwhile, Union minister Arun Jaitley wrote a Facebook post criticising Gandhi for his speech. “Every time I listen to the view of Shri Rahul Gandhi, both inside and outside Parliament, I ask myself the same question – How much does he know? When will he know?” Jaitley asked.
He wondered if the Congress president was being “inadequately briefed” or if Gandhi was being “a little too liberal with his facts”.
He said Gandhi had falsely claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had waived the loans of top 15 industrialists worth Rs 2.5 lakh crore. “Those who owed money to the banks and other creditors have been declared insolvent and removed from their companies by IBC enacted by Prime Minister Modi’s government,” Jaitley wrote, referring to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. “These loans were given largely during the UPA government.”
Madhya Pradesh will go to polls in December 2018.