Cong downplays President’s remarks on farm loan waiver

The Congress on Tuesday downplayed the claim that President Pratibha Patil was behind the government`s ambitious farm loan waiver scheme, saying inputs for it had come from diverse quarters.

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2009, 13:44 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday downplayed the
claim that President Pratibha Patil was behind the
government`s ambitious farm loan waiver scheme, saying inputs
for it had come from diverse quarters.

Party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi was commenting on
a remark by the Secretary to the President Christy Fernandes
that Patil had given advice to the government for initiating
appropriate mechanism by which the plight of the farmers could
be addressed. Congress has maintained that the scheme was its
brainchild.

Fernandes, who had made the observation in the presence
of Patil, had said not many people know that it was the
President who spearheaded and gave advice to the government
that it must have appropriate mechanism by which the plight of
the farmers could be addressed and that resulted in the
massive loan waiver programme of the previous government.

Singhvi said, "The comments are being misinterpreted.
Broad issues of public interest like farm loan waiver have
inputs from diverse quarters. All inputs together form the
final policy.”

Crediting the scheme to Congress president Sonia
Gandhi, secretary, AICC media department, Tom Vadakkan said,
"It is Mrs Gandhi and Mrs Gandhi herself (who is) behind the
whole farmers` strengthening process that has been launched by
the Congress."

Bureau Report