Will waive farmers’ loans in 10 days if Congress comes to power


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Rahul Gandhi in Mandsaur: Will waive farmers’ loans in 10 days if Congress comes to power

Trying to whip up sentiments and woo the farming community, Gandhi questioned the delay in filing a report into the death of the six farmers while alleging that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government had failed to address their concerns.

Rahul Gandhi also castigated the state and Central governments for ignoring the farm distress across the country. (Source/Twitter)

Virtually launching his party’s campaign for the assembly elections this November, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said if the Grand Old Party was voted to power in Madhya Pradesh, it would waive farmers’ loans within 10 days. Addressing the ‘Kisan Samriddhi Sankalp’ rally at Mandsaur, that coincided with the first anniversary of police firing on farmers in the district last year, Gandhi also castigated the state and Central governments for ignoring the farm distress across the country.

“I assure you, when the Congress forms government in Madhya Pradesh, farmers’ loans will be written off within 10 days,” Gandhi said at the rally, which also saw state Congress chief Kamal Nath and election in-charge chief Jyotiraditya Scindia in attendance.

Exactly a year ago, on June 6, 2017, six farmers were killed in police firing at Mandsaur’s Pipliya Mandi during an agitation to demand a better price for their crops. Trying to whip up sentiments and woo the farming community, Gandhi questioned the delay in filing a report into the death of the six farmers while alleging that the Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led government had failed to address their concerns.

“The families of the farmers (killed in Mandsaur last year) will get justice in 10 days and we will take action against those responsible for the firing. Governments are of no use if they cannot provide security to farmers and their families,” Gandhi said.

Furnishing statistics to buttress his claim that the state was reeling under agrarian distress, Gandhi said about 1,200 farmers committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh. “Did any rich person or their family member commit suicide who have lakhs of crores as debt,” he said. Government figures show that the Gandhi scion was not completely off the mark.

In March, Union agriculture minister Purushottam Rupala said in the Lok Sabha that Madhya Pradesh witnessed 1,321 farmer suicides in 2016 – a jump of 21 per cent since 2013. The state ranked third in the country in terms of farmer suicides. While farmer suicides dropped by up to 10 per cent elsewhere in the country between 2014 and 2016, MP saw a rise.

Earlier, Gandhi paid tributes to the dead farmers in Piplia Mandi town of Mandsaur district and also met the families of the slain farmers. However, controversy erupted after Sandeep Patidar, elder brother of Abhishek Patidar, who was killed during the Mandsaur agitation last year, alleged that he was warned by a sub-divisional magistrate against attending Gandhi’s rally. He was also asked to stop his parents from attending the rally.

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