New Delhi: Addressing India's distressed farmers directly from outside Parliament, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said he will not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi sleep until all farm loans have been waived.
In a stinging attack on what he described as crony capitalism, Rahul said the government has turned a blind eye to the loans given to 15 top industrialists of the country, including Reliance Group chairperson Anil Ambani, but made no effort to alleviate the woes of the farmers in the last four and half years. "We promised to waive loans in 10 days. In two states, we did it within six hours and we would do it in the third state very soon," Rahul told reporters outside Parliament.
He was referring to the Congress' newly formed governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh fulfilling promises made ahead of the Assembly polls and waiving loans on Monday. A Congress government, led by Ashok Gehlot, was also sworn in in Rajasthan. "We will not let Prime Minister Narendra Modi sleep until loans of all farmers are waived," the Congress president said.
Issuing a challenge to the prime minister, he said, "If the Modi government does not waive farm loans, we guarantee to waive farm loans if voted to power in 2019." He also claimed that the loans of friends of Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had been waived.
Alleging that Rs 3.5 lakh crore was waived for 15 people, including for Anil Ambani, he said poor people and small shopkeepers were on one side and the group of industrialists on the other. He assured the people that the Congress and all other opposition parties would stand by them.
Terming demonetisation the world's biggest scam, Gandhi said the government has stolen from the public, shopkeepers and farmers. "There will be many more typos coming now," he said when asked about government's claim on the "error" in the affidavit given to the Supreme Court on the Rafale issue.
The government claimed in its affidavit that the Rafale pricing issue has been looked into by the CAG whose report has been discussed in Parliament's Public Accounts Committee.
Raising the issue of alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal, he accused the BJP of running away from a debate in Parliament. "We will force a JPC on the Rafale issue. Why are they (government and BJP) running away from a debate in Parliament," Gandhi said.
He, however, skirted a question on Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and the apology demanded by the BJP from him after he was convicted by the Delhi High Court a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
He also did not answer a question on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath's statement about workers from Bihar and said he will ascertain the facts before speaking on it. Nath was quoted as saying that workers from Madhya Pradesh were being denied jobs and many industries offered employment to workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.