A few days after Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh created a buzz with his ‘kisan mang pattar’ promising to waive farmers’ debt, the AAP countered with a similar campaign. The AAP has come out with ‘Karza Maafi Sankalp Chithi’ signed by Delhi Chief Minister and party chief Arvind Kejriwal giving an undertaking that he would waive farmers’s debt if the it is voted to power.
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The form will target 15 to 20 lakh farmers and has been handed over to volunteers to go door-to-door in villages and to mandis to get these signed. Insiders in AAP said the party wanted to negate the “impact” of Congress campaign. The Congress has termed the AAP as “copy cat”, a charge that the party has rejected.
“You can well imagine who is copying us,” said Kanwar Sandhu, chairman of Punjab Dialogue. “We came out with the farmers manifesto and promised to waive farmers’ debt. It is the Congress that copied our promise. Have you even seen Amarinder going to farmers houses and mandis earlier? It is only AAP effect that you are seeing him amidst people.” He went on to add that his party’s debt waiver forms had an undertaking. “Amarinder has no where promised (it),” said Sandhu.
“Ours is a national campaign,” said Asha Kumari, Congress’ Punjab in-charge and AICC general secretary. “We will waive off the debt if we form the government in Punjab. At the same time we want to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he should have waived off the debt of the farmers as he did for Adanis and Ambanis.” The Congress aims to target 25 lakh farmers, said a member of Prashant Kishor’s IPAC.