- Congress promised loan waivers, won 3 state elections last year
- PM Modi said Congress has "fooled" people in the past too
- NDA government has promised Rs 6,000 to small farmers in annual budget
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today attacked the Congress over its farm loan waivers, saying in the states where the party came to power, few have received benefits from it. Even "a decade ago", the Congress came to power on a similar promise, but "fooled everyone", the Prime Minister said.
Loan waivers have been the big Congress promise ahead of the assembly elections in the heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and with farmers' anger seen as one of the key reasons for the BJP's setback, a cash transfer scheme was announced for farmers on Friday's interim budget.
But the Congress pointed out that the amount promised - Rs 6000 a year to small and marginal farmers - is a pittance and there has been a call for loan waivers from farmers in various parts of the country. The Congress also said the measure, which involves a sum of Rs 75,000 crore, was a "jumla" (political gimmick).
Ten years ago, the Congress, to win elections, had announced farm loan waivers, PM Modi said at a rally in Jammu today.
"This was a time when 'remote control government' was going on. On this, they fooled everyone and came to power," he said. While the loan amount was known to be 6 lakh crore, it later turned out to be 52,000 crore.
"When CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) investigated, they found out some 30 to 35 lakh people were not even worthy of this loan," PM Modi said.
"Earlier it was 'bimaar karo, pudiya do' (spread a disease and then treat it)," PM Modi said, indicating that the Congress created a problem first and then suggested a solution.
Loan waivers have been disfavoured by economists, who say it does not provide any real solution to the problems plaguing the farm sector. As the loan waiver demand gathered momentum ahead of national elections, the government opted for an unconditional cash transfer to farmers after the model in states like Telangana and Odisha.