The country needs farmers as much as it needs industrialists but under the BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, farmers’ suicides have increased in the country, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said here on Friday.
“In the past three years, 9,000 farmers ended their lives in Maharashtra… India’s farmers have been under attack all over the country. Modi gave Rs 65,000 crore to one person for setting up the Nano factory but did not give a rupee to the farmers,” Gandhi said in a renewed attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He said the farmer loan waivers in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra was the outcome of the “pressure from the Congress”, but the waivers are yet to be implemented fully.
Citing the case of Maharashtra, he alleged that a loan waiver of Rs 35,000 crore is said to have been implemented, but actually only Rs 5,000 crore have been disbursed by the state government.
“What is the need for asking the caste of the farmers for loan waiver, why should they be made to stand in long queues?” Gandhi asked, addressing a meeting of party workers on his daylong visit to Nanded and Parbhani in Maharashtra on Friday.
Holding the Prime Minister responsible for what he termed “the failure of demonetisation”, Gandhi said Modi has axed the common people by cancelling the currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 value in November last year.
“It was claimed terrorism would reduce after demonetisation, but in Jammu and Kashmir, the picture is different… 99 per cent of the money was returned after demonetization, then where is the black money that was supposed to come out? Instead, the country’s economy has been ruined,” Gandhi said.
The Congress Vice President said the main issues confronting the country are protecting the interests of the farmers and providing jobs to the unemployed.
“Under the ‘Make In India’, Modi had said two crore youths would be given jobs, but in reality, there are zero job opportunities created. Everywhere we see ‘Made In China’ and our competition is with China. Then what was the purpose of ‘Make In India’,” he wondered.
Accusing Modi of “showing false dreams”, Gandhi said the Prime Minister speaks of giving the Bullet Train but the government does nothing about education, health and unemployment.
“The Congress may have shortcomings… But it does not mean we show false dreams to the people. Communal hatred is being spread all over India, in Goa, Manipur and Gujarat… BJP buys votes,” Gandhi claimed.
Focusing on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said it was the Congress government’s policy and it did not recommend more than 17 per cent GST “for our poor country”.
“But today, we have up to 28 per cent GST and five tax slabs,” he said, criticising the manner in which it has been implemented.