New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched an all-out attack against the Congress over farm loan waiver. Calling it a political stunt, PM Modi said that a majority of farmers do not benefit from these “misleading” announcements as only a few of them take loans from banks. He made comments in an interview to news agency ANI.
He recently described the loan waivers announced by the Congress governments in states like Madhya Pradesh as “lollipops”. PM Modi said, “To say a lie and mislead, that is what I called lollipop. Like saying ‘we have waived all farm loans’. The truth is that nothing like that has happened. Please see their own circulars, they should not mislead.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused the Congress of misleading farmers on loan waivers, saying its governments had handed out lollipops instead of what was promised.
Lollipops were handed out. The loan waiver was given to only 800 farmers, he had claimed. He had said the lollipop company had similarly forgotten the promises it made before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Modi’s recent remarks on farm loans follow the waivers announced by the Congress governments in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh after this month’s assembly polls.
Responding to criticism that his government has been insensitive to the farmers’ woes, he said, “If loan waiver helps, it should be definitely done. But it has been done by earlier governments also. Since (former Deputy Prime Minister) Devi Lal’s time (in 1989-1991), loan waiver was done.”
He said the Congress-led UPA government also announced farm loan waiver in 2009 to “win (the Lok Sabha) elections”.
“Still, if state governments are doing it (announcing loan waivers), we are not stopping them. We have not stopped any state government. We are committed to addressing farmers’ problems and empowering farmers,” Modi added.
In the recently held assembly elections, BJP suffered a major electoral setback as Congress grabbed three Hindi states. Congress in their manifesto had promised that farm loan will be waived if come into power.