Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday began his party’s election push in Uttar Pradesh with a 2,500-km kisan mahayatra, where he accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “ignoring” the problems of farmers and promising them a loan waiver, higher support price and a cut in power tariff.
The road show is aimed at bringing the Congress back to power in the elections due early next year. Mr. Gandhi said the campaign would pressure Mr. Modi and his government to address the problems of farmers.
“These governments [the Centre and the State] have forgotten farmers and labourers. They have not done anything to address your problems, but we will. we share the sorrow of farmers and labourers…,” he said.
‘Three ways’ “I told Mr. Modi to protect farmers because they give food to the country. To protect them, there are three ways. The first is to waive their loans. Our government had waived Rs. 70,000 crore in farm loans. But the Modi government waived Rs. 50,000 crore owed by big industrialists last year. Mr. Modi should also waive farm loans,” he said.
The second step according to Mr. Gandhi was to halve the power tariff.
Deoria was once known as the sugar bowl of Uttar Pradesh with 17 sugar mills. All the mills were gone now because of the indifference of the Centre and the State, he said.