Senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday accused Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath of spreading lies over the loan waiver issue and deceiving farmers.
The former chief minister hit out at Mr Gandhi over his claim at a rally in MP on Wednesday that his brother was among those who received loan waiver.
"This is a conspiracy. They said the loan of my brother Rohit Chouhan was waived. As per the state government's order, a farmer needs to submit an application for loan waiver.
"After scrutiny, if the application is found eligible then the benefit would be extended," Mr Chouhan said at a press conference.
Showing the panchayat's documents pertaining to farmers at his native village Jait (in Sehore district), Mr Chouhan said the records showed his brother was not eligible for loan waiver scheme.
"He is an income taxpayer and it's written (in records) that my brother Rohit hasn't even filled the application for farm loan waiver," he said.
An income taxpayer or a government employee cannot be a beneficiary of this scheme, he said.
"Why Chief Minister Kamal Nath is so kind to me?" he quipped, alleging that the Congress conspired to "hide its failure" over its loan waiver promise.
Mr Chouhan said the ruling Congress in the state has failed to provide the benefit of loan waiver to farmers.
"The state government's first order itself exposes the lies, it is deceiving the farmers, Rahul Gandhiji, Kamal Nathji, you didn't keep your promise to farmers," he said.
The chief minister has approved the order to waive short-term crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh while the Congress has promised to waive every kind of loan, he claimed.
Referring to loads of documents related to loan waiver dumped by Congress leaders at his residence two days back, Mr Chouhan said, "There was no unique transaction reference (UTR) numbers in the list of 21 lakh farmers that Kamal Nath gave to me. No transaction is possible without the UTR number (required to facilitate the transaction)."
He said it was difficult to understand how the state government will waive loans worth Rs 40,000 crore by making a budget allocation of only Rs 1,300 crore.
"They (Congress leaders) are regularly speaking lies," he alleged.
Mr Gandhi hit out at Mr Chouhan on Wednesday for alleging that farmers have not received benefits of the loan waiver announced by the Kamal Nath government.
To drive home his point, he said Mr Chouhan's brothers were among those who had received loan waiver. "Kamal Nathji, tell everyone who among Shivraj Singh Mr Chouhan's relatives have benefited from the Congress government's farm loan waiver scheme," Mr Gandhi said.
Nath then walked over to Mr Gandhi and told the gathering on the microphone: "Shivraj Singh Chouhan's brother Rohit Singh Chouhan and his uncle's son Niranjan Singh's loans have been waived. And Shivraj says no loans have been waived."
To this, Mr Gandhi said, "In government's statistics and records, it is mentioned that his brother's loan has been waived. Kamal Nathji, if he wants then you send him a photocopy of this."
The loan waiver was promised by Mr Gandhi before the MP Assembly elections last year and it is widely believed to have played a key role in the party''s victory in the state after a gap of 15 years.
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