The Congress’s plan to roll out the second phase of Punjab government’s debt waiver scheme by party president Rahul Gandhi in-state chief Sunil Jakhar’s native place, neighbouring poll-bound Rajasthan, has come to a cropper.
Sources said the function, originally planned to be in Abohar in view of Rajasthan elections on December 7 due to district’s proximity to the state has been cancelled. It has been rescheduled for December 7 at Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s hometown Patiala.
Sources said the Congress had initially planned Rahul’s visit in such a way that he would go to Abohar first and subsequently to Hanumangarh and Ganganagar in Rajasthan on the last day of campaigning there. But Gandhi has already visited the places bordering Punjab two days ago.
“We had earlier planned that Rahul Gandhi, who could be in Hanumangarh and Ganganagar on the last day of campaigning in Rajasthan, could have come to Abohar in Punjab first and hand over the debt-waiver cheques to farmers. There he could have told the farmers that he had just handed over the cheques and make a point that Congress was fulfilling its pre-poll promise in Punjab and was committed to fulfilling a similar promise in Rajasthan also if voted to power. But we were not able to coordinate. When we got in touch, his day was already packed,” said a party leader.
“Now, our people in the bordering area are busy in Rajasthan. We could not have organised the function effectively. So the government, considering this and the CM’s health, has postponed the function. It will be done in his hometown now,” said a leader.
The government will provide a debt relief of Rs 1,771 crore to 1.09 lakh marginal farmers, having accounts in commercial banks. Debts of the farmers’ worth Rs 10,000 crore will be waived in the second phase of the state government’s scheme is worth. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will personally hand over the cheques to the farmers on the day.
Panchayat elections are also likely to be announced in the state soon and once the code of conduct comes into effect, the government will not be allowed to hold this function.
Agriculture department, having completed the verification of 1.48 lakh farmers, has been waiting for the release of money from mandi board.