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Rahul asks 'pro-rich Modi' to waive farmer loans

IANS  |  Koppal (Karnataka) 

on Sunday urged to waive loans of farmers than working only for the rich, and industrialists.

"Though the government works for the rich, and industrialists, I urge the to waive loans of farmers who are the backbone of the country," said at a public meeting at Karatagi in Karnataka's Koppal district, about 350km northwest of Bengaluru.

Addressing a huge gathering in the state's northern region on the second day of his four-day visit to poll-bound Karnataka, said there were two types of governments the world over -- one which works for industrialists, and other for the poor.

"The government, which works for the rich, is slowly waiving Rs 10 lakh crore debt of but not loans of thousands of farmers across the country reeling under the agrarian crisis," the said.

is on his maiden visit to after taking over the reins of the party in mid-December from his mother Sonia and ahead of assembly polls in the southern state, due in late April or early May.

Asserting that the state's government is "pro-farmer and pro-poor", following the principles of 14th century social reformer Basavanna, said Minister responded to his request to waive loans of farmers in June last year.

"Unlike Modi, walks the walk and waived crop loans (totalling Rs 8,165 crore) of over 22 lakh farmers who borrowed about Rs 50,000 each from state cooperative banks," said.

claimed that while the government allotted Rs 55,000 crore for social welfare schemes across the country, the government alone had spent half that amount (Rs 27,500 crore) for the benefit its the state's people from its resources.

Accusing the government of failing to create 2 crore jobs per annum the promised ahead of the 2014 elections, said unemployment and the farm crisis were major challenges facing the nation.

"The BJP-led government has failed to create jobs, bring black money from abroad to the country and weakened the economy by demonetising currency (in November 2016) and hastily introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST) since July 1," the added.

Referring to Modi's talk on corruption, said the had forgotten that the first BJP government (2008-13) in the state, led by B.S. Yeddyurappa, was the "most corrupt".

Yeddyurappa resigned on July 31, 2011, after the anti-graft body (Lokayukta/Ombudsman) found him involved in the in the state.

Gandhi's 30-minute speech in Hindi was simultaneously translated in the native language Kannada for the benefit of the audience.

Besides Siddaramaiah, in the Mallikarjun Kharge, party's state unit and others were present at the public meeting.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 21:48 IST