Rahul Gandhi hints at nationwide farm loan waiver

HYDERABAD: Congress president Rahul Gandhi has hinted at waiving farm loans across the country if his party assumes power at the Centre in 2019. The Congress has already promised to waive up to Rs 2 lakh per head of farm loans in Telangana if the People’s Front is elected to power.

Addressing the media, along with Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Hyderabad on Wednesday, Gandhi said the Congress respected farmers as they were assets of the country, ‘unlike Narendra Modi who considers them as liabilities’.

“Farmers’ crisis is not only an issue in Telangana. It is one of the two fundamental issues in the country. Modi treats farmers as liabilities but we are absolutely convinced that farmers are the biggest assets of this country and they need to be treated with respect.”

Claiming Modi had written off Rs 3.5 lakh crore debt of 15 corporate houses, he said “why can’t you wiave the debt of crores of farmers? We are committed to waive the farm loans in Telangana. It may not be good enough but it is the starting a point and an acknowledgement India owes to its farmers and Telangana owes to its farmers.”

Gandhi said People’s Front government would inject technology into farms, connect famers to Hyderabad and the rest of India and world, apart from setting up food processing units close to farms to enable farmers to sell their produce at remunerative prices.

“We want to act in a spirit of protection of farmers. We are committed for sure that Telangana is run by its people and spirit of youngsters who sacrificed themselves for Telangana,” Gandhi said. Jobs for youth of Telangana and protection for farmers would be the twin pillars on which Telangana would be ‘rebuilt’ he said.

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Rejecting the propaganda of TRS that if People’s Front wins he would call the shots in the state which was part of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, chief minister Naidu said it was aimed at reigniting regional sentiments for polarising vote. He assured that he won’t interfere with Telangana administration and termed TRS’ campaign that Andhra was creating hurdles for Telangana’s irrigation projects was “false propaganda”.

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