Senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chauhan Friday termed a "lie" Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's claim that farm loans were waived within days of his party assuming power in Madhya Pradesh and alleged that under the Kamal Nath government farmers were being driven to suicide.
Chouhan, a former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, said Gandhi had recently claimed that the loans were waived within 10 days of the party coming to power in the state as per its poll promise.
"The brazenness of his lie is evident from the fact that despite his party being in power for more than 100 days, farmers applying for loan waiver are being told that their requests cannot be processed because the Model Code of Conduct is in force.
"The Congress is using the MCC to hoodwink people. The election law clearly states that there is no bar on providing the people with benefits of an existing scheme," Chouhan said.
Gandhi, he said, had also promised that if the chief minister failed to waive farmers' loans, he would be replaced on the 11th day by someone who could fulfil the promise.
The benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samriddhi Yojana have not been withheld by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre on account of the Model Code of Conduct, he said.
"The Congress has cheated the people of Madhya Pradesh and is now coming up with excuses," Chouhan alleged, adding the the situation is similar in other Congress-ruled states.
The party had also promised to ban liquor in Chhattisgarh but did nothing on it, he said.
"Its promise of job creation has fallen flat on its face. And the farmers, whose cause the party claims to champion, are still reeling under debt and are being subjected to coercive recoveries by banks which are labelling them defaulters," Chouhan, who ruled the state for three terms, claimed.
Those declared defaulters run the risk of being denied fresh loans that they would need to buy seeds and other materials. "The Congress has worsened the plight of farmers who are being driven to suicide," he alleged.
Chouhan claimed that his government had spent more than Rs 40,000 crore on various schemes to alleviate the sufferings of farmers.
"My intention is not to brag about my period in power but to underscore that Rahul Gandhi is the biggest liar among Indian politicians" and people should be wary of his promises made in the Congress manifesto, the BJP leader claimed.
"The manifesto has been titled Hum Nibhaenge (the Congress will deliver). History offers proof that the Congress never delivers," he claimed.
Asked whether the party will field BJP leader LK Advani's daughter Pratibha Advani in Bhopal against senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh, he said, "We will decide the candidate in due course but I wager that even an ordinary BJP worker can trounce him."
Chouhan, however, ducked queries on whether Advani, who expressed his dissatisfaction with the party leadership in a recent blog, would campaign for the BJP.
"He (Advani) is our mentor and we keep receiving his guidance. His words ought to be taken in the right spirit just like Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done," he said.
Expressing confidence that the BJP will return to power along with its allies, he said, "The so-called Mahagathbandhan is in complete disarray and no match to Modi's strong leadership."
Chouhan said that his Bihar tour had given him the sense that the NDA is set to improve upon its 2014 tally. It had then won 31 out of the 40 seats, he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)