Buoyed by the just concluded electoral success, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday vowed to fight for the interest of farmers and said he and other Opposition leaders will not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi sleep until all farm loans are waived, prompting the ruling BJP to describe the Congress president’s remarks as lowest in the country’s public discourse.
Speaking on the Parliament premises, Rahul also raised the issue of alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal and accused the BJP of running away from a debate in Parliament. “We will force a JPC on the Rafale issue. Why are they running away from a debate in Parliament,” he said.
Rahul said the Government has turned a blind eye to the loans given to 15 top industrialists of the country, including Reliance’s Anil Ambani, but made no effort to alleviate the woes of the farmers in the last four years.
“We promised to waive loans in 10 days. In two States (Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh), we did it within six hours and we would do it in the third State very soon,” Rahul said talking to the media outside Parliament. He was referring to the Congress’ promises made ahead of the Assembly polls and waiving loans on Monday.
Reacting to the Gandhi scion’s onslaught on Modi, the BJP said nothing better can be expected from Rahul, whose party ensured that Indians did not sleep during its 60 years of rule due to rampant corruption. Hitting out at Rahul, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said he should come to Parliament and debate the Rafale issue there.
“Friends I am given to understand that Rahul Gandhi today said that he will not allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sleep. This is a new low in the public discourse of the country,” Prasad said.
Rahul said Modi has been at helms of affairs as PM for last 4.5 years, but has not waived a single rupee of farmers’ loans but promised that Congress and other Opposition parties would join hands to end the farmer’s miseries. He said if the Modi Government does not waive farm loans, Congress guarantees to waive the same if voted to power in 2019. He said a united Opposition will exert “such pressure on Modi that not a single farmer will be left out”.
When asked about Government’s claim on the “typo” in the affidavit given to the Supreme Court on the Rafale issue, Rahul quipped there will be many more typos coming now from the Government side.
“A number of typo errors will come out now. This is just a beginning of typo errors, now one after the other typo errors will come, on JPC issue, on Rafale issue, on farmers, on demonetisation, you will start seeing typo errors. Basically, what is happening is that money of people of India is being stolen, of farmers, of small shopkeepers. I consider demonetisation as the biggest scam of the world. The purpose of note ban was to snatch money of the poor and give to the friends of Narendra Modi…,” Rahul claimed.
Referring to Rahul addressing the issue of farmer distress and saying that the Congress and other Opposition parties will ensure that all farm loans are waived, Prasad declared it was just drama. The Congress, he said, had been in power for about 60 of the last 70 years. “What have they done for farmers? They are doing just drama now,” he said.
Daring the Congress and its chief to show “courage” and discuss the fighter jet deal “eye to eye” in the House, Prasad said, “Don’t run away from the debate.” He added that the Congress was fleeing a debate on the issue because it had many skeletons from defence deals in its cupboard.