The Hindu Business Line

Cong leaders meet PM, demand farm loan waiver

Take up issue of agrarian crisis with both Punjab, UP set to go to polls in 2017


With reports of fresh problems in the farming sector coming out, particular­ly after the demonetisa­tion, a Congress delegation met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to draw his attention towards the farmers’ issues.

The delegation, led by party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, also had Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh, and his Uttar Pradesh counterpar­t Raj Babbar, along with others.

Charter of demands

The Congress has been demanding loan waivers for farmers. A recent rally led by Rahul Gandhi had sought support of farmers for the party’s demand. During the rally, the Amethi MP had initiated collection of charter of demands from farmers.

The party collected 2 crore kisan maang patras from Uttar Pradesh and over 34 lakh from Punjab. Both the States are going to polls in the first half of 2017.

After the meeting, Rahul Gandhi said Modi heard them patiently but did not commit anything.

“We, the Congress party delegation, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the plight of farmers in this country. Every single day, a farmer is committing suicide in Pun- jab. Farmers are committing suicide all over the country. The Centre has removed the import duty on wheat. This is a devastatin­g blow. So, we went to the Prime Minister to request him on behalf of farmers of this country to waive their loans,” he said.

The Prime Minister reportedly asked Rahul Gandhi to continue to meet him on issues of national importance.

Demand for waiver

The Opposition has been maintainin­g that the Prime Minister was running away from any sort of discussion­s in and outside Parliament.

The meeting took place at the office of Modi in Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi also claimed that the Prime Minister agreed that that the situation of farmers is serious. “We told Prime Minister that the way the government had waived ₹1,40,000 crore, the same way farmers’ loans too should be waived,” he said.

He added that issues of farmers in Maharashtr­a and Karnataka were also raised by the delegation.

“The severe agrarian crises have caused acute distress to the farmers and they have been driven to despair and suicide. It is sad to mention that the State of Uttar Pradesh ranks 8th among the Indian States in terms of farmers’ suicides,” the memorandum submitted to Modi by the delegation said.

 ??  ?? Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the Congress delegation led by party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, on Friday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the Congress delegation led by party Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, on Friday

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