Rahul promises farm loan waiver
4,000 acres acquired in Bastar by the Tatas for steel plant will be returned to people, says Cong. chief
If the Congress comes to power in Chhattisgarh, the party will waive farmers’ loans and release the bonus pending for their produce for the past two years, party president Rahul Gandhi said here on Saturday.
He addressed three meetings in the State on the last day of campaign for the first phase of polling on November 12.
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced many schemes and plans for farmers in the State, where nearly 80% of the population lives in rural areas.
‘Within 10 days’
Mr. Gandhi said that within 10 days of coming to power, the party would waive loans and approve the bonus. The Congress has highlighted the promises in its manifesto.
Mr. Gandhi promised to return over 4,000 acres of land acquired in Bastar by the Tatas to set up a steel plant.
“There is a provision in the Land Acquisition Act that if a project that has acquired land could not be initiated within five years of acquiring the land, then it [the land] should be returned. We will return the land acquired by the Tatas to the farmers and tribals,” Mr. Gandhi said in Bastar. The Tata Group acquired land in Bastar in 2005, but abandoned the project following left-wing insurgency.
Mr. Gandhi promised to set up food processing units to turn the State into an agricultural hub. Farmers would sell their produce to agrocentres to get proper prices, the Congress president said.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Mr. Gandhi said that while Mr. Modi was engaged in promoting his friends “Anil Mehul or Nirav the name of Mr. Singh’s son featured in the Panama Papers.
“Nawaz Sharif in Pakistan was jailed for having his name in the Panama Papers.
bhai, bhai”, bhai
The name of the Chief Minister’s son featured in the same papers but no one said a word — neither the Chief Minister … nor the
[gatekeeper],” Mr. Gandhi said in a reference to the Prime Minister.
chowkidar ‘PM favouring the rich’
In a separate rally at Charama in Bastar division, Mr. Gandhi alleged, “In the past four or five years, Modi gave ₹3.5 lakh crore to the 15 richest people. While an amount of ₹35,000 crore was needed yearly to run the MGNREGA [Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act] scheme in the country, he waived loans worth 10 times that amount of 15 select industrialists.”
ji (With PTI inputs)
Reaching out: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on a roadshow in Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, on Friday.