Unai: Under attack over alleged inaction on the issue of farmers suicide in poll-bound Gujarat, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced waiver of Rs 300 crore interest on crop loans and a rebate in power for drought-hit farmers.
Focussing on issues concerning the state on the second day of his month-long `yatra`, Modi at the same time continued his attack on the Congress on the coalgate row, dubbing All India Congress Committee (AICC) as "All India Coal Congress."
The BJP stalwart also appeared to take a dig at JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar when he said that nobody complains when political parties use Osama bin Laden lookalikes during election campaigns in Bihar, but have problems if he takes out a rally.
"Parties used an Osama bin Laden duplicate during the campaigning in Bihar elections and everybody remained silent. Now, when I am taking out a rally in the name of Vivekananda, what is their problem?", he said. Modi`s present campaign tour has been named `Swami Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra`.
On sops to farmers, Modi said, "It has been decided that interest on the crop loans taken by farmers, hit by the drought like conditions, shall be borne by the state government, which would be around Rs 300 crore."
"The government has also decided to give 50 per cent relief in the electricity bills of such farmers," Modi told newsmen on the sidelines of his Yatra.
"It`s also the responsibility of state government to be concerned about farmers who are facing hardships, on account of drought like situation prevailing in Gujarat, earlier," Modi said.
Hit by crop failure, several farmers mainly from Saurashtra region had committed suicide.
Opposition Congress has made farmers suicide a major issue ahead of the polls in Gujarat, accusing the ruling BJP government of inaction.
Targeting the Congress in the coalgate row, Modi said
"You would have heard of theft of diamonds, gold, silver, but have you ever heard that somebody took away coal? Congress people have stolen coal, worth Rs 2 lakh crore."
Modi also attacked the Gandhi family and took a dig at Congress`s slogan `Change the direction to change your condition` when he said Congress`s direction was of "dynasty rule".
"Only one family gets importance.... If they make someone Prime Minister, he has to go to the family before taking any decision," he said.
"Congress`s `direction` is of nepotism, spreading communalism, divisive politics and not fulfilling promises," he alleged, adding "We do not want that in Gujarat."