Giving a new twist to the Congress-TDP spat on the MFI crisis in the State, TDPP leader Nama Nageswara Rao has dared the AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to a debate on the issue.
Mr. Rao alleged that the Congress, including AICC president Sonia Gandhi and her son, had been encouraging MFIs that have been charging high interest rates and coercive methods of recovery leading to suicides by borrowers.
SKS link with Rahul
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he alleged that one of the five MFIs that held 80 per cent of the microfinance market in Andhra Pradesh, SKS Microfinance, had grown by leaps and bounds after its founder Vikram Akula's association with Rahul Gandhi gained strength.
Mr. Gandhi was accompanied by Mr. Vikram during the former's microfinance study tour to Bhongir in Nalgonda district in 2005.
In 2006, Ms. Sonia Gandhi presented India Social Entrepreneur of the Year award to Mr. Vikram at the World Economic Forum meet in Delhi and had praised the contribution of organisations like SKS to social development.
He argued that MFIs could not flourish as long as the TDP was in power as the Government then had ensured revolving fund and bank finance to SHGs.
But, the former Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, had stopped the revolving fund and routed bank finance through MFIs since 2004.