Will waive farm loans in 10 days of coming to power: Rahul

Satna, Sep 27 (IANS) Wooing farmers in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, party President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised to waive farm loans within 10 days of coming to power.

The Congress chief also said that once his party comes to power at the Centre, changes would be made to GST to reduce rates on items.

“You remember that the Congress has waived the farm loans worth Rs 70,000 crore. You saw how we waived the farm loan of farmers in the state within 10 days after coming to power in Karnataka,” Gandhi said addressing a public meeting here.

“If voted to power, we shall waive the farm loans of farmers within 10 days,” he said.

Gandhi also said that he could never even think of lying and making false promises to people like depositing Rs 15 lakh in every account.

He also said that the Congress after coming to power in the state would change the Gabbar Singh Tax to real GST.

“As soon as we come to power, we will change the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ into the real GST. We will implement one tax at lowest rates,” he said, adding that the government would use its power to generate employment in the state,” Gandhi said, who is on a two-day visit to Madhya Pradesh, where the elections are slated later this year.

Earlier in the day he visited the Kamta Nath temple, dedicated to Lord Ram, which is located in the forested hills of Kamadgiri and performed ‘puja’. Gandhi had earlier also made a visit to the state on September 17 and held a road show in the state capital Bhopal.

He also slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi government over Rafale fighter jet deal and dared him to break his silence in any of his public rallies.

“The UPA government started the talks for 126 Rafale fighter jets from France. The UPA government gave the contract to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) so that the youths of the country would have got employment,” he said.

Slamming the Prime Minister, Gandhi said, “The UPA government negotiated the deal to buy per Rafale aircarft for Rs 526 crore. But then our Prime Minister, who is a chowkidaar (watchman) goes to France and changes the contract. He removes HAL and gives it to his friend who has a debt of Rs 45,000 crore of bank and who has not built a single aircraft in his life.”

“And few days ago, even the former French President (Francois Hollande) said that the name of the Indian private firm was not taken by French government or the company which manufactures Rafale. But it was said to us by the Indian government and their Prime Minister that the contract needs to be given to the private firm,” he alleged.

“The watchman let the theft of Rs 30,000 crore happen. The watchman is thief,” he thundered.

Slamming the Prime Minister for his silence over the Rafale deal, Gandhi dared him to speak up why the offset contract was not given to HAL, why the deal was not discussed with the Defence Minister and why the ex-French President was now accusing him as a thief?

Gandhi also accused Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of speaking “untruth” on the Rafale deal issue.

“In Parliament, the defence minister said the price of Rafale fighter plane cannot be disclosed due to secret pact. I met the French president (Emmanuel Macron), who said there is no such pact and the price can be disclosed,” he said.

Gandhi said that the prime minister spoke for one-and-a-half hours in Parliament but he did not speak on the Rafale issue.

He also accused Modi of disregarding the hard work of people of India from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15 when he said “he changed the country in last four years”.

The Congress chief also charged Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of helping fugitive businessman, Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in India for defrauding banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore escape from the country.

“Mallya escapes from country with Rs 9,000 crore. And before escaping the country he meet Finance Minister in Parliament and says to him that I am going to London,” he said.

“But the Finance Minister did not inform the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate and let Mallya escape from country. And Modi also remains silent on that,” he added.

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