As Waivers Flow In Assam, Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi Says "PM Sleeps"

The new Congress-led governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have waived farms loan.

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As Waivers Flow In Assam, Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi Says 'PM Sleeps'

Rahul Gandhi had said he would not let PM Modi sleep until farm loans are waived. (File)


New Delhi: 

With two BJP-ruled states announcing reprieve for farmers within 24 hours of Congress farm loan waivers in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, party chief Rahul Gandhi started his day on Twitter with a jibe. Target - Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vijay Rupani-led Gujarat and the government of Sarbananda Sonowal in Assam.

"The Congress party has managed to wake the CM's of Assam & Gujarat from their deep slumber. PM is still asleep. We will wake him up too," his tweet read.

On Tuesday, Assam waived loans of nearly 8 lakh farmers in Assam - an exercise expected to cost Rs 600 crore. Hours later, the Gujarat government said it would forgo rural electricity bills to the tune of Rs 650 crore - a measure that provide huge relief to the state's farmers.

It was the timing that had the Congress camp whooping. On Monday, hours after taking oath, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Chhattisgarh's Bhupesh Baghel had signed off on the waiver within six hours.

A cellphone video shot outside parliament shows Mr Gandhi, asked about loan waivers, grinning. "Dekha aapne? Aapne dekha? Shuru ho gaya na kaam? (You see? Haven't we started work?)," he is heard saying.

Yesterday, the Congress chief triggered a controversy, saying he would not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi "sleep or rest" till farmers of the country got a reprieve. Alternately, he said the Congress would waive all farm loans when it comes to power in next year's national elections.

The BJP's union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called it a "new low in public discourse".

This evening, as Rajasthan, too, waived farm loans, Mr Gandhi tweeted:

But in Karnataka, a state the Congress is ruling with partner HD Kumaraswamy, the record is not so sterling. The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular had both promised farm loan waivers, but despite the Chief Minister's commitments during the budget, it took months for the first loan waivers to actually happen.

The state government said they plan to cover around 44 lakh farmers at a cost of Rs. 48,000 crore. So far, only 800 farmers have received the waiver. The BJP has mocked the exercise. On Tuesday at a function in Rae Bareli, Sonia Gandhi's parliamentary constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "They had also promised farm loan waivers in 10 days in Karnataka, but six months later, the truth is entirely different".



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