New Delhi: BJP on Tuesday mocked Rahul Gandhi's remarks on promises for farmers as his "seasonal expression of sympathy in the season of elections" and claimed that while states ruled by it have seen maximum agricultural growth, those by Congress are known for cases of "land-grab".
The saffron party was also dismissive of the Congress vice president's pitch for loan-waivers for farmers, claiming that its governments worked to enhance their capability as it cited a CAG report to allege that a Rs 51,000-crore scam occurred during one such waiver during the UPA-I government.
"The Congress vice president, the 46-year-old eternal youth of the India politics has said a few things about farmers...Rahul Gandhi who goes abroad to attain knowledge and concentration, was in the eastern UP today for a seasonal expression of sympathy in the season of elections," its spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi told a press conference.
Taking a swipe at Gandhi, he said that his "baseless and ridiculous" charges at the Modi government were an expression of his "self-knowledge", claiming the plight of farmers was an indictment of the close to six decades of Congress governments in the country.
The fate of farmers was turned upside down during these times, he said, referring to controversial land deals involving Gandhi's brother-in-law Robert Vadra.
There is a fundamental difference between Congress and BJP over the issue of farmers, Trivedi said, adding that while the former believed in waiving their loans and providing them short-term employment, his party is "committed to increasing their natural capabilities and strength".
BJP ruled-states relaxed conditions for giving loans to farmers by bringing down interest rate to zero in several cases and the Modi government has come out schemes like crop insurance to protect them against any unforeseen farm, he said.
He also recalled the central government's tough stand in the WTO talks in 2014 to "save" the interest of farmers to claim, "From the farms in villages to the global forum like WTO, the work of NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi for farmers and its commitment to them is unparallelled."
For a party which could not understand the pain of farmers during its 56 years in governance to make such claims now, is "baseless and ridiculous", he said.
Trivedi alleged that farmers were exploited and land grabbed in states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand during the Congressgovernments while BJP-ruled Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh saw a big jump in agricultural growth.
In UP, people making "illogical" comments are asked in colloquial parlance if they had slept on a prickly cots, he said as he took a dig Gandhi over his remarks made during the Congress party's "khaat sabha" (meeting over cots). "Had he slept on a prickly cot?" he asked in a lighter vein.
Congress in the state was contesting polls under a leader belonging to the era of Rahul Gandhi's father and with policies also belonging to the same times, he said, reacting to the choice of Sheila Dikshit (78) as its chief ministerial candidate.
He said both SP and BSP, which has been in the power in the state during the last 14 years, supported the UPA government and, therefore Congress cannot claim that it had no association with the state's governments.