The Congress-led Rajasthan government on Wednesday, 19 December, announced waivers for farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh, with the state government expected to bear a burden of Rs 18,000 crore.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot took to Twitter to share the state government’s decision to waive off farm loans, a crucial pre-poll promise made by the party during election campaigning.
This comes after the newly-elected Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh governments, also led by the Grand Old Party, announced their respective farm loan waivers.
Attempting to corner the Modi government on the issue, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, 18 December, had said he would not let the PM sleep till a loan waiver is given to all farmers.
Then on Wednesday, 19 December, Gandhi said his party had managed to wake up the chief ministers of Assam and Gujarat to grant farm loan waivers and will rouse a “sleeping” Prime Minister Narendra Modi too.
Sonowal, Himanta Counter Rahul’s Claims
Responding to Gandhi’s claims, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma countered the Congress chief on the social networking platform.
Sonowal accused Gandhi of trying to take credits for issues related to livelihood and development of farmers of Assam.
The Assam government on Wednesday, 19 December, announced Rs 1,000-crore schemes to boost the farm sector in terms of waiving loans to the tune of 25 percent and announcing incentives to help the distressed farmers.
Assam Finance Minister HImanta Biswa Sarma said the Congress president has failed to respect sentiments by linking it to petty politics.
Gandhi has been championing the cause of farm loan waivers, though he recently said in a press conference that they were not permanent solutions to the farming crisis and technological advances in agriculture in consultation with farmers were needed, reported PTI.
On Tuesday, 18 December, the BJP government in Assam announced the approval of Rs 600 crore farm loan waivers, which it said will benefit around eight lakh farmers of the state.
The same day, the party's government in Gujarat announced a complete waiver of Rs 625 crore in unpaid electricity bills, under its one-time settlement scheme for over six lakh people living in rural parts of the state.
(With inputs from ANI, IANS and PTI)