RAIPUR/NEW DELHI: Congress' resurgence in three states has brought forward an important challenge for the grand old party – the promise of farm loan waiver as promised during election campaigns.
The party has already started working towards pushing the waivers with the help of financial institutions and banks in Chhattisgarh, where it won 67 out of the 90 state Assembly seats, dethroning Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP`s) Raman Singh after 15 year.
A document issued by the co-operative department in Chhattisgarh addressing banks and financial committees went viral on social media. The document asks for the overall farmer loan details in the state by November 30.
While Zee News could not verify the authenticity of the document, sources said that some senior banking officers did admit that the party is intent on fulfilling its promises in the poll manifesto and is reportedly collecting inputs on how to waive off the farmers' loan in the state within 10 days of the new government's swearing-in.
While nothing has been formally announced about the party's decision on the next Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, names of state party chief Bhupesh Baghel, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly TS Singh Deo and party's lone Lok Sabha MP from the state Tamradhwaj Sahu are doing the rounds. An announcement on the same is expected on Thursday.
Adressing the media after losing the polls in Madhya Pradesh, former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday reminded the Congress of its promise to waive off loan to farmers within 10 days of coming to power.
“Congress has made promises such as farmer loan waiver in 10 days. Rahul Gandhi had said that if it doesn`t happen in 10 days they will change the chief minister. I have complete faith that they will fulfil this commitment made to the public,” he said after tendering his resignation.
Political analysts have suggested that Congress president Rahul Gandhi's promise of a farm loan waiver if voted to power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh seems to have helped it reap a rich harvest of votes.
In the wake of Gandhi's populist promise made during campaigning for the November 28 polls, cultivators did not sell their paddy produce and stocked them to reap the benefit of the promised loan write-off in MP, a farmer leader told news agency PTI. This was done to avoid paying loan instalments to banks as sale proceeds would have been directly deposited in their accounts, he said.
Apart from winning Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the MP, scoring 114 seats in the 230-member house. To reach the majority of 116, it has claimed the support of seven more MLAs. The BJP, which was in power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003, bagged 109 seats.