LAUNCHING A scathing attack on the Congress over its move to issue loan waiver forms, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday said, “Congress was not only playing fraud of numbers by forging papers to double the total number of farmers in the state, but also defrauding farmers by promising to waive off their loans despite not having conducted any such exercise in states where it was heading the government.”
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Agriculture Minister Tota Singh said, “The current PR-induced forgery and propaganda being carried out by the Congress has been exposed with the party collecting 29 lakh forms when the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) listed the farmer households at only 14 lakh.”
The Akali leader continued, “Since there can only be one debt amount in each household, the Congress managers have clearly committed forgery. It was not possible for the Congress to fill up 29 lakh forms by visiting the mandis alone as claimed by the party.”
Singh further said, “Earlier, also in 1972, the Punjab Congress, led by Giani Zail Singh, had made a similar promise that it did not honour. The Punjab Congress had promised to give acres of land to the landless by dispossessing big landlords of the same.”
He added, “Amarinder did not even know the ground situation in the state and was forced to get PR pictures clicked and scoot from mandis when he realised that everywhere he went, procurement was being done in an extremely smooth and efficient manner. Every pile Amarinder visited at every mandi had already been procured. This is why Amarinder’s PR managers came up with a loan waiver scheme when they realised that procurement of foodgrain was not an electoral issue in the state.”
Hitting out at Amarinder further, the minister said, “Tell farmers why you withdrew the free power facility for tubewell sets granted to them by the SAD-BJP government.”
Claiming that the Congress chief had only launched one farmer scheme — Farm to Fork – that is ensuring easy access to farm produce in the open market, but it never saw the light of day.
He also asked Amarinder why the Congress-ruled states of Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh had failed to waive off farm loans.
“Is this facility only available to states where you do not have a government?”
On a sarcastic note, Akali Dal welcomed the Congress president’s decision to send Rahul Gandhi on a visit to Punjab next month.
Party Member of Paliament (MP) Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa said, “Rahul’s visit would help the SAD-BJP alliance immeasurably in the same way his flop show had helped the Congress opponents in Uttar Pradesh.”