Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Congress on Saturday of cheating farmers on loan exemptions, saying their governments had handed out “lollipops” instead of promises.
“Be wary of Congress and its lies,” he said at a public meeting in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, after laying the first stone of a medical school and launching a postage stamp to the legendary King Suheldev.
Prime Minister Modi was visiting the Purvanchal region, his second trip to Uttar Pradesh this month.
He also visited Varanasi, his constituency of Lok Sabha, to launch the South Asia Regional Center of the International Rice Research Institute.
The Prime Minister said that Congress promised loan exemptions to hundreds of thousands of farmers, but the JD (S) -Congress coalition that came to power did not comply. “Lollipops were delivered. The loan exemption was granted to only 800 farmers, “he said.
He said the “lollipop company” had also “forgotten” the promises he made before the Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
Congress has denied in the past similar charges made by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Prime Minister Modi’s recent observations on agricultural loans follow the exemptions announced by the congressional governments in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh after the polls at this month’s assembly.
The president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, said recently that his party would not let Prime Minister Modi rest until he cancels agricultural loans throughout the country.
Prime Minister Modi stated that under the congressional rule, loans were granted to people who were not eligible, while farmers were forced to turn to private lenders and fall into debt traps.
The Prime Minister described himself again as a “chowkidar” (vigilante) of the people, a term derided by the president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi.
“This chowkidar of yours is working hard day and night, and honestly, to brighten up your future and that of your children,” he said.
“Because of this chowkidar, some thieves have sleepless nights. It is your faith and your blessings that will take the thieves to their rightful place one day, “he said.
He described Maharaja Suheldev as a brave warrior. “Maharaja Suheldev is among the brave hearts that fought for the honor of ‘Maa Bharti,'” he said.
“All people who come from the private and exploited sectors of society seek inspiration from him. “Remembering it strengthens the Sabka Saath mantra, Sabka Vikaas (inclusive development),” he said.
The prime minister’s rally in Ghazipur is also being seen as an effort by the Bharatiya Janata Party to attract the Rajbhar community, which venerates Maharaja Suheldev. However, the BJP party ally Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj has distanced himself from the event. The head of SBSP and the Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Om Prakash Rajbhar, said he was not invited on time.
Prime Minister Modi said his government will not allow the memory of those who defended the country and worked for society to vanish.
“There are brave hearts in the country that have not received the due respect of previous governments. Our government is paying tribute to them, “he said.
“Several important steps have been taken to transform Purvanchal into a large medical center and to strengthen small industries in UP,” said Modi.
He said that when a government works with transparency and the public interest is placed above self-interest, the big tasks are carried out effectively.
“Today we even hear the poorest of the poor. The government has been able to lay the foundations of a strong monument, “he said.
Prime Minister Modi mentioned Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and said that for the first time so much emphasis had been placed on medical care.
The Prime Minister listed several projects related to agriculture for the region. These include the International Rice Research Institute in Varanasi, loading centers in Varanasi and Ghazipur, a fertilizer plant in Gorakhpur and the Bansagar irrigation project.
Prime Minister Modi criticized Congress for not implementing the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission on the minimum support price for crops.
He said that the government has now set the minimum support price of 22 crops at one and a half times the cost of production.
When mentioning the connectivity projects, PM Modi said the work is in full swing for the Purvanchal highway.
The recently opened waterway between Varanasi and Calcutta would also benefit Ghazipur, he added.