The Congress Party supremo, Rahul Gandhi has suddenly shifted his goals. Overcoming the urge to open mobile factories in every nook and corner of the country, the Gandhi scion is currently obsessing over farm loan waiver.
Including the farm loan waiver in every election manifesto and in a futile attempt to project himself and his party as the ‘Messiah of farmers’, Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to claim that the Congress had influenced the government of Assam and Gujarat to accommodate the farmers of the state.
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.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 19, 2018
Rahul immediately got schooled on Twitter by Assam Finance Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma and the Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal for his outlandish claims.
Rahul Ji, Assam Govt. has not announced any debt waiver scheme. We are offering 25% subsidy on short term agricultural loan along with full interests subvention. These schemes will continue unlike a one-time loan waiver. Completely opposite to your idea. https://t.co/o1ZGgaNJFx
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) December 19, 2018
Mr Gandhi, this attempt to take credit on an issue that is related to the livelihood & development of farmers is quite frivolous. You have no moral right to talk about Assam or its farmers. Everyone knows how your successive Govts in Assam looted the resources meant for farmers.
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) December 19, 2018
While the BJP leader, Himanta Biswa Sarma tried to explain how the Assam Government’s scheme is a subsidy scheme and not a debt waiver, unlike what the Congress is trying to project, the CM lashed out at Rahul tutoring him that according to the scheme the state cabinet will provide 25 per cent of the loan amount up to Rs 25,000, which is far different from one-time waving off the farmers loans.
Several others on Twitter also criticised the Congress prince for hurting their sentiments by linking the Pathuroghat commemoration to loan waiver.
— Nistula Hebbar (@nistula) December 20, 2018
The Pathuroghat massacre, also known as the ‘Jaliawalabagh of Assam’, in the 19th century, was a witness to a great massacre of peasants who rose in revolt against the British protesting hike in land rent and this scheme launched by the Assam Government was announced to mark the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Patharughat and to commemorate the several farmers who had lost their lives fighting for their rights.
Meanwhile, the Assam CM further mocked the Congress chief by saying, “As you seem to be interested in claiming credit for some of Assam Govt’s decision, I request you to take credit for all misdeeds, corruption and loot that had perpetrated all these decades under Congress rule, thus depriving the people of Assam in general & farmers in particular”, hinting that it was the Congress who, during its reign, ruined and looted Assam of its resources.
BJP leader and Assam’s Finance minister, Himanta Biswa had on Wednesday cleared that the three schemes, favouring the farmers of the state, which were launched by the Assam government, had nothing to do with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 or the recent announcements of a debt waiver by Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. He had further confirmed that the government of Assam had announced these schemes while presenting its annual state budget 2018-19.
Considering that Assam constitutes 27 lakh agricultural households spread across 26,000 villages, the state government had in its 2018-19 budget approved the Assam Farmers’ Credit Subsidy Scheme (AFCSS), under which the government would reimburse 25% of the loans taken or repaid by farmers this financial year, with a limit of Rs 25,000. This scheme would cover 4 lakh farmers and involve a financial outgo of Rs 500 crore.
Along with this scheme, the other two schemes approved by the cabinet were the Assam Farmers’ Interest Relief Scheme (AFIRS), which will extend support to farmers who are prompt in repaying their loans, by providing a 4% interest subvention on short-term crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh and the Assam Farmers’ Incentive Scheme (AFIS), which would help farmers to reactivate their Kisan Credit cards (KCC’s) as the state government would pay a one-time cash incentive up to Rs 10,000 to help open credit line for the farmers possessing the card.
Following is the screenshot from the 2018-19 budget [PDF], slated by the Assam Finance minister, which proves that this scheme was, as duly claimed by Himanta Biswa, introduced by the state during the time of presenting its annual budget, contrary to Rahul Gandhi’s frivolous claims.
The Gandhi scion has lately been after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government over the agrarian crisis while accusing it of overlooking the farmers’ distress.
The Assam CM, Sarbananda Sonowal, in a scathing response to these allegations, said that PM Modi doesn’t need a certificate from Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party. He furthered, “The enormous development that Modi ji has brought to the lives of the common people in just 4 yrs is something your family didn’t care to achieve in the last 6 decades.”
Also, PM @narendramodi ji doesn’t need a certificate from you and your party. The enormous development that Modi ji has brought to the lives of the common people in just 4 yrs is something your family didn’t care to achieve in the last 6 decades.
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) December 19, 2018
With the 2019 general elections knocking at the door, every political party seems to be gearing up, trying to put their best foot forward. But when it comes to the Congress party, we have often seen that instead of proving its calibre, the party has always utilised its precious time maligning other political fronts. Now, with BJP emerging as the biggest threat to the Congress, it would be interesting to see how shallow the Congress supremo would stoop to justify their worth.