Amid the ongoing debate on revri, i.e. distributing freebies for votes, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said loan waivers for industrialists was akin to dishing out “ rabri” to them.
“I want to ask when we give loan waivers to our farmers here, you call them revri but when loans amounting to ten trillion rupees are waived off for ten industrialists, that is rabri being served to them,” said the Chief Minister, referring to the popular Indian milk-based dessert.
Mr. Baghel was addressing a gathering after inaugurating Khairagarh-Chhuikhadan-Gandai district as the 31st district of the State. Listing out some of the welfare measures taken up by his Congress government, he questioned the logic of dubbing such measures as revri.
“When we buy paddy at ₹2,500 a quintal or pay ₹7,000 every year to labourers, it is called revri,” he said, pointing out that other schemes offering subsidy on electricity bills or free education to children were also ridiculed as such.
In July, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that there were some [State] governments indulging in revri culture to secure votes. Ever since then, representatives of several State governments ruled by parties other than Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party have criticised the statement on various forums, while some have even pointed out to the various subsidy programmes in BJP-ruled States.
Mr. Baghel himself has been vocal against any suggestions of cutting down on this purported revris.