Farmers' loans will be waived after Cong comes to power, says Rahul Gandhi

"Just 22 persons have as much wealth as held by 50% of the country's population. The Modi govt has given Rs 16 lakh crore to these 22 persons. The Congress will ensure this money goes to the poor"

Rahul Gandhi addresses an election rally in Maharashtra's Sakoli on Saturday, 13 April 2024
Rahul Gandhi addresses an election rally in Maharashtra's Sakoli on Saturday, 13 April 2024


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said loans of farmers will be waived if his party comes to power at the Centre.

Addressing a rally in Sakoli in Maharashtra's Bhandara district, he said the main issues plaguing the people of the country were unemployment and inflation, though these were ignored by the media, which concentrated on programmes of the prime minister and celebrities.

"Loans of farmers will be waived if the Congress comes to power. People are distressed due to unemployment and inflation. The situation is such that people earning just thousands and those making crores are paying the same GST," he said while attacking the NDA government at the Centre.

Gandhi said farmers asked him during his Bharat Jodo and Bharat Jodo Nyay yatras about why they were not getting the benefit of loan waivers like billionaire industrialists or MSP (minimum support price) for farm produce.

"We will also give legal guarantee for MSP," he said.

Gandhi said his party would conduct a caste census after attaining power since it is important for the future of the country.

"No one knows the percentage of backward groups in the country. Dalits, tribals and OBCs do not have representation in government jobs, bureaucracy, media, top 200 companies as per their proportion in the population," he said.

"After coming to power, we will carry out caste census, economic and institutional surveys to find out who has the country's wealth and how much of it is with Dalits, tribals, backwards and minorities. Caste based census is revolutionary," Gandhi further said.

Gandhi said, since Independence, the Congress had worked towards green revolution, white revolution, IT revolution and bank nationalisation, adding that it would take more such steps after coming to power.

Prime among them would be women's empowerment, with introduction of a scheme to give women living below poverty line (BPL) Rs 1 lakh annually, or 8,500 per month, Gandhi announced.

Slamming the Centre's Agnipath army recruitment scheme, in which soldiers called 'Agniveers' are recruited for four years, Gandhi said it would be scrapped since "the Army was not in its favour".

Attacking Modi, he said the prime minister, who calls himself an OBC, must tell the country what he has done for the segment in his 10-year rule.

The Union government is working for a few industrialists, while common people are getting nothing, he claimed.

"Just 22 persons have wealth equivalent to that held by 50 per cent of the country's population. But Modi only keeps talking about religion and tries to create enmity among castes and communities," Gandhi alleged.

The Centre has given Rs 16 lakh crore to these 22 persons but the Congress will ensure this money goes to the poor, he added.

He claimed the share prices of firms owned by Gautam Adani had skyrocketed during the 10-year rule of Modi, with the billionaire now having stakes in every sphere from airports to ports to roads, bridges, coal mines and power plants.

While people were seeking medical help during the COVID-19 pandemic, Modi was asking them to beat "thalis" and flash mobile phone torches, Gandhi said.

Gandhi said the party will scrap Goods and Services Tax and introduce a single tax bracket.

"The Congress after coming to power will carry out recruitment for 30 lakh government posts and also introduce one-year apprenticeship for youth in private and public sector units as well as government offices," Gandhi said at the rally.

"The Congress will fulfil these promises as it does not lie. We run governments for people and not for Adani," he asserted.

Sakoli is part of the Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha seat, from where the Congress has fielded Dr Prashant Padole.

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