Riding high on confidence after forming the government in three states of the Hindi belt, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on December 18 promised the farmers that the opposition parties would not rest until PM Narendra Modi takes a decisive step to ease the debt burden on farmers across the country.
Speaking to the press, Gandhi asserted that the opposition parties led by Congress would make sure that PM Modi ‘doesn’t sleep or take rest’ until he gives a reprieve to the farmers who are reeling under an intense agrarian crisis.
“We will not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi sleep until loans of all farmers are waived,” said Gandhi while addressing the farmers directly from the parliament.
Congress president has received a much-needed image boost from the results of the assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. He displayed this confidence in the Parliament where he claimed that the party has already started delivering on its promises.
“Dekha apne? Kaam shuru ho gaya hai (Did you notice? The work has already begun),” he said referring to the recent farm loan waivers announced by the recently formed Congress government in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Forty-eight-year-old Gandhi seems to be leaving no opportunity to pitch Congress as a viable alternative to the present government. He raised the party’s electoral pitch from the parliament and said, “If the Modi government does not waive farm loans, we guarantee to do so, if voted to power in 2019.”
Reacting to Gandhi’s fiery attack on PM Modi, Union Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “This is a new low in public discourse in the country. But nothing better is expected from Rahul Gandhi whose party ensured that people of the country did not sleep for 60 years due to corruption, mal-governance and patronage of selected people.”
This political season is marked by several discourses around the agrarian crisis, particularly in terms of farm loan waivers. Loan waivers were major pre-poll promises of the parties during the recently concluded assembly elections. Cornering the ruling party over the mounting farm debts, Congress mobilised the voters in its favour and subsequently snatched three states out of BJP’s kitty, denting their seats’ arithmetic for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Throughout 2018, scores of farmers staged multiple protests across the country demanding the Centre to address the deepening distress in the country’s agriculture sector. During the recent protest in New Delhi, the Kisan Mukti March, farmers expressed deep resentment against Modi government and asserted that they would show the door to the party if their demands aren’t met.