Dharamshala: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday accused the Congress of “befooling” farmers on loan waivers, saying the governments led by the party had not fulfilled its promises in the past.
Addressing a rally in Dharamshala to celebrate one year of the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government in Himachal Pradesh, Modi also claimed that the previous Congress government had similarly misled ex-soldiers on the implementation of their demand for "one rank, one pension”.
His criticism comes days after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said his party will not let Modi rest till he writes off farm loans across the country.
The recently elected Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan have announced loan waiver schemes.
The prime minister said the Congress government that came to power in 2009 waived loans worth only Rs 60,000 crore after the party had “promised” to write off an amount of “Rs 6 lakh crore”.
He said a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General had found that lakhs of people who were not even farmers benefitted from the then Congress government's loan waiver scheme.
Modi said the Congress had made similar promises of waiving farm loans before Assembly elections in Punjab and Haryana, but claimed the party had failed to deliver.
While farmers in Punjab got “nothing”, 800 farmers were given token amounts in Karnataka, he added.
Speaking in Hindi, Modi said the Congress had "made a fool" of the people through its loan waiver promises.
The Congress has challenged such claims in the past, insisting its governments have implemented the loan-waiver promises in the states and at the Centre.
Modi said the previous Manmohan Singh-led Congress government had also misled the nation by just allocating a meagre budget for the one rank, one pension scheme.
But his own government at the Centre implemented "one rank, one pension" scheme in the real sense, he said.
He said scams totalling 90,000 crore, involving bogus beneficiaries of pension schemes run by the previous government, were unearthed after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power at the Centre.
Apparently countering Rahul Gandhi's jibe that the “watchman” had himself turned into a “thief”, Modi said, “The watchman is not ready to let scamsters go.”
Remembering former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi said Himachal Pradesh was the leader's second home and industries were set up in the hilly state at his initiative.
He said development projects worth Rs 26,000 crore were under way in various sectors in Himachal Pradesh.
He described Himachal Pradesh as the land of brave soldiers who were ever ready to make the supreme sacrifice at the border.
"Himachal Pradesh is like my home. I worked here for several years for the party's organisational work," Modi said at the meeting, termed “Jan Abhaar” (gratitude to the people) rally.
The prime minister released a booklet on the achievements of the BJP government in the state.
Modi went through an exhibition put up by the state government to showcase the benefits of state and Centre-sponsored schemes.
The prime minister was welcomed by the chief minister, former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Kangra BJP MP Shanta Kumar and Union Health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda at the helipad in Dharamshala.
Governor Acharya Devvrat was also present.
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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 19:57:17 IST