Will waive off loans of all farmers in Chhattisgarh: Rahul

Koriya/Jashpur (Chhattisgarh): Charging the ruling BJP with creating two Chhattisgarhs, one of the rich and the other of the poor and the exploited, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday pledged to waive off all farm loans within 10 days of his party coming to power in the state.

Campaigning for the second phase of the assembly polls, Gandhi targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over alleged crony capitalism, and Chief Minister Raman Singh and his family for corruption.

“Chhattisgarh was created so that its natural resources can be utilised for the welfare of the people. But now we have two Chhattisgarhs – one of the rich, of those wearing suit-boot, and the second of the masses, poor, marginalised, farmers and workers.

“We don’t want two Chhattisgarhs. We want justice,” said Gandhi, addressing a rally in this erstwhile princely state.

Claiming that Rs 3.5 lakh crore of corporate loans were waived off by the Centre, Gandhi asked why even a rupee of farm loans was not waived.

“I had asked Modi why was he not writing off loans given to the poor farmers, but he never bothered to reply. So from here I declare that within 10 days of coming to power in the state, we will waive off loans of each and every farmer,” said Gandhi.

He said the waiver of farm loans will be offset by recoveries from fraudsters like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who, with the help of Modi government, had defrauded banks of billions of rupees.

Sharpening his attack on Modi over demonetisation and the Rafale deal, Gandhi alleged that “thieves, with the help of Modi, laundered their black money into white through demonetisation”.

“Modi now doesn’t talk about corruption because the entire nation knows that the ‘chowkidar’ (watchman) himself is the thief,” said Gandhi, accusing the Prime Minister of “only lying before the masses”.

Gandhi attacked Chief Minister Raman Singh over an alleged Rs 5,000-crore chit fund scam and a Rs 36,000-crore scam in the public distribution system (PDS).

“In the PDS scam, Rs 36,000 crore was siphoned off. A diary was seized where it was written that the money was given to CM Madam and Dr. Saheb. I want to ask Singh who is this CM Madam and Dr Saheb?”

The Congress chief also alleged that Chief Minister’s son Abhishek had undisclosed offshore accounts as per revelations in the Panama Papers.

The second phase of Chhattisgarh Assembly polls for 72 constituencies spread across 19 districts will be held on November 20.

The first phase of polling in 18 constituencies across eight Maoist-affected districts was held on November 12.

The results will be declared on December 11.

Addressing another rally in Jashpur in the state, Gandhi alleged that the “Rafale deal was done by Modi to give Rs 30,000 crore to his industrialist crony”.

He also promised setting up food processing units in all the blocks in the state so that farmers could easily sell their produce at the right price and their sons and daughter could get jobs in these factories.

He also flayed the Chief Minister for unemployment in the state, saying despite thousands of vacancies in various government departments and institutions, the youth were not employed because of corruption.