Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday alleged that Congress president Rahul Gandhi's claim that farm loans have been waived by his party's government in Punjab was an attempt to deceive the people of the state.
During a public meeting in Moga on Thursday, Gandhi spoke about farm debt loan waiver schemes implemented by Congress governments in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
He also launched a scathing attack on Narendra Modi over the Rafale deal and alleged that the prime minister was benefiting certain industrialists while refraining from helping out the country's debt-ridden farmers.
In a statement in Chandigarh, former Punjab minister and senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said it was shocking that Gandhi "lied" and "tried to deceive" the people of Punjab and the country by stating that farm loans had been waived by the Congress government in the state.
"This is furthest from truth. The Congress government in Punjab has failed to implement its promised Rs 90,000 crore loan waiver scheme encompassing nationalised and cooperative banks as well as private money lenders. It (the state government) has come out with a partial crop loan waiver scheme which has exacerbated the situation and led to more than 900 suicides," Majithia alleged.
He also accused Gandhi of remembering farmers only during election season.
"This is the reason why he was talking about farmers in Moga today. However, he did not spare one day in the last two years to meet and console even one of the 900 farm suicide victim families whose kin committed suicide after the chief minister reneged on a solemn promise to waive their entire loans," the SAD leader said.
"The real situation is that farmers were sitting on rail tracks demanding their dues, including payment for sugarcane supplied to the state."
Majithia said that he condemned the manner in which public money was "wasted" to host a "pre-election rally" in the name of farm debt scheme.
Meanwhile, Punjab Ekta Party president Sukhpal Singh Khaira asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to clarify who paid the expenses for the function which was held at Moga.
He demanded that the Congress party foot the bill if expenses incurred for holding the function were paid out of public money.
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Updated Date: Mar 07, 2019 22:41:39 IST