Addressing a rally on Wednesday in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur on the first anniversary of the farmers’ agitation which left six persons dead, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi “guaranteed” to waive farmers’ debt within 10 days if his party comes to power in the state. Madhya Pradesh goes to polls later this year.
“From this stage, I want to tell farmers in Mandsaur and these families (of those killed last year), and with Kamal Nath and (Jyotiraditya) Scindia (as witnesses), I want to assure you that within 10 days of the Congress forming a government in Madhya Pradesh, your debts will be waived. It won’t take a day more, I guarantee it,” Rahul said.
On June 6 last year, six persons were killed in Mandsaur, allegedly in police firing, when they were protesting in demand of fair price for their produce, among other issues. Before his address, Rahul met the families of some of the victims, and paid respects to the six, whose photos were kept on the stage.
“A year ago, the Madhya Pradesh government attacked farmers, shot at them and killed them… I want to tell the families (of the deceased) who have come here, that when Congress forms a government here, you’ll get justice within 10 days: we’ll take action against the people who fired at you,” he said. The BJP government, Rahul said, has waived Rs 2.5 lakh crore of 15 tycoons, “but has not waived a single rupee of crores of farmers.”
He said he had gone to the Prime Minister’s Office to raise farmers’ issues. “I told him you’ve waived Rs 2.5 lakh crore of 15 people, while with Rs 35,000 crore, we ran NREGA across the country. I told him to waive off farmers’ debts, but he didn’t speak a word,” he claimed. “I’ve been told 1,200 farmers have committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh. I want to ask you, did anyone in their families (of tycoons) commit suicide?”
Rahul said the Prime Minister addresses Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi — accused in the Punjab National Bank fraud — as Mehul bhai and Nirav bhai. “The Narendra Modi government gave Rs 35,000 crore to Nirav and Choksi. With that amount, you can waive the debt of every farmer in Madhya Pradesh twice,” he said. On the youth, he said they were promised two crore jobs annually. “Can anyone in this crowd claim to have been given employment by Narendra Modiji?”
“We won’t make hollow promises. I won’t tell you that you will get Rs 15 lakh in your pockets. I’ll fulfill whatever you hear from me on stage. If you want to hear lies, you are wasting your time here,” he said. He said the Prime Minister did not say a word on the Doklam face-off. “Wherever you go, (you see) Made in China. Our PM sat on a swing with Chinese President in Gujarat. The Chinese President goes back and says that he wants to send his forces to Doklam. And Chinese forces enter Doklam, but Narendra Modiji doesn’t utter a word.”
“Modiji has a telephone in his pocket and it has ‘Made in China’ written behind it. It is my dream that when we come here five years from now, the phones should read ‘Made in Mandsaur’. And Narendra Modi and Shivraj — MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan — can’t do this. This can be done and will be done by Kamal Nath and Scindia,” he said. “Within 10 years, we will make people in Chinese capital Beijing eat Mandsaur’s garlic.”
Targeting the Prime Minister, he said, “He is educated, but hasn’t studied the right things. It is RSS’s education. His heart is full of anger and hatred. Our education — of Kamal Nathji and Scindiaji and mine — is different. Our education is of love and bringing people together.”