Accusing the Congress of “duping” and “betraying” farmers, the BJP Monday claimed that the party has done little to waive farmers’ loan in states like Karnataka and Punjab, and had also not met its promise in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – the three Hindi heartland states it won recently.
Quoting figures, Union minister Prakash Javadekar at a press conference here said the Congress had promised a farm loan waiver of Rs 45,000 crore in Karnataka, but had not paid even Rs 75 crore so far.
He added that against the estimated farmers’ loan of Rs 90,000 crore in Punjab, the Congress-led government in the state had only allocated Rs 3000 crore in the budget for waiver.
The party launched the offensive days after the BJP-led government of Jharkhand announced the ‘Mukhyamantri Krishi Aashirwad Yojana’ (MKAY) from the next fiscal — scheme offers Rs 5,000 per acre of cash assistance to farmers ahead of kharif season (summer crops).
On December 17, the BJP-led government in Assam had approved two schemes to waive 25 per cent of farm loans and provide fresh interest-free loans through Kisan Credit Card. A day later, the Gujarat government had announced a waiver of Rs 625-crore pending electricity bills of around 6.22 lakh connections in the rural areas of the state, including agriculture electricity connections.
Last week, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said that his party would “wake up” the Prime Minister on the issue of farm loan waivers, after having woken up the Chief Ministers in BJP-ruled Assam and Gujarat.
Claiming that “the long reign of the Congress at the Centre is responsible for the farmers’ plight”, Javadekar said that Modi-led government has “tried to change their (farmers’) fortunes by giving them enhanced priced for their crops”.
Javadekar also claimed a total of 397 farmers have committed suicide in the six-month reign of the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka.