As Lok Sabha elections are around the corner, the Congress government in Rajasthan led by Ashok Gehlot have now started playing politics over their incapability of fulfilling their pre-poll promise of farm loan waiver.
According to a report by The Economic Times, the Congress has now come up with a way to blame the previous BJP regime for leaving the state in massive debt, and are citing this as the reason behind them being unsuccessful to keep up their promise.
Gehlot on Thursday said that the farm loan waiver involving cooperative banks would amount to Rs 18,000 crore at a time when the state was caught in debt of Rs 3 lakh crore left by the former BJP government.
“We want to do the loan waiver as the other states (Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) have done. We have set up a committee to find a way out. Regarding the loans with nationalised banks, negotiations need to be done with them as they invariably do with farmers in case of NPAs (non-performing assets or bad loans),” said Gehlot.
Gehlot’s comment gave the BJP an opportunity to mock the Congress government for going back on its promises. BJPs’ Gulab Chand Kataria told ET, “They know they simply cannot do a comprehensive loan waiver, as they had promised, given the huge amount involved. Forget the waiver, the state government does not even know its total extent – no lists of eligible farmers have been prepared. We are now planning a big jail Bharo Aandolan (fill jails campaign) on February 7 or 8 to protest against this cheating with the farmers of the state,” said Kataria.
Gehlot’s statement has made it obvious that since the model code of conduct is not expected to come into effect before the first week of March, it is highly unlikely for the state government to be able to implement the loan waiver before the general election.
“This will surely impact Congress chances in the state in the Lok Sabha polls since loan waiver was a major promise,” said another senior BJP leader.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been lashing out at the Ashok Gehlot government alleging that the Congress has not fulfilled its promise to waive off farm loans. The BJP has further alleged that the deceived Rajasthan farmers have started committing suicide because of the state government’s unfulfilled promises regarding loan waiver, which was an integral part of the Congress’ election manifesto.
The party claimed that three deaths, including a suicide, have been reported in the state.
The BJP had also slammed the Rajasthan government’s decision to waive off farm loans of those who have committed suicide.
It is notable to mention that cases of non-existent names appearing on the list surfaced in Rajasthan after the Congress government initiated the loan waiver scheme. Scores of names have appeared in the list of beneficiaries for the farm loan waiver scheme who had no loans against their names.
This is similar to the dubious cases, amounting to Rs 120 crores, of non-existent farm loans being waived off in Madhya Pradesh where Congress formed its government.
Apart from this, the Congress governments in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are facing severe outrage from the farmers within weeks of their government formation, for mismanaging the supply of urea.