Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday termed as “incorrect, insensitive and very unfortunate” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks against the state’s Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government for its loan waiver scheme.
“Our crop loan waiver is an open book and information is available online, unlike in many other states,” Kumaraswamy wrote on Twitter. “Government of Karnataka is handling honest tax payers’ public money with caution to reach true farmers. It is ensured that every genuine farmer gets the benefit. All middlemen, particularly in co-operative sector are weeded out.”
The prime minister must note facts about the scheme before making such incorrect statements, he said. The chief minister’s office put out 12 points to refute Modi’s claims and also released district-wise details of the funds distributed.
The Karnataka government said that so far, Rs 350 crore has been paid to individual accounts of about 60,000 farmers electronically. Around Rs 400 crore will be paid next week, the chief minister’s office said. The process will be completed by January 2019, the office promised. “Other states have shown keen interest in this system. Aadhaar and electronic authentication of land records and ration card has ensured genuine farmers get the waiver,” Kumaraswamy’s office said.
Kumaraswamy’s rebuttal came two days after Modi told BJP’s booth-level workers in Karnataka that those in power in the state “are steeped in arrogance” and called the loan waiver scheme a cruel joke on farmers, according to IANS.
“The farmers want attention. But those in power in Karnataka are steeped in arrogance,” the prime minister had said during an interaction via video-conference. “The common man wants development, but those in power want only development of a dynasty. People want corruption-free development, but the state government wants development-free corruption.”
“The Congress government promised to waive farmers’ loans across the country,” Modi said. “The promise was to waive loans worth Rs 6 lakh crore, but the loan exempted amounts to just Rs 60,000 crore. But Comptroller and Auditor General report data indicates that 35 lakh beneficiaries were not farmers nor did they have farm loans or were eligible as beneficiaries.” The prime minister told the gathering to be wary of the “Congress and its lies”.