Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday claimed that a united Opposition would not allow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to rest until it announced a loan waiver for farmers as the newly elected Congress governments did in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Mr. Gandhi said the government was only promoting 15 crony capitalists like Anil Ambani and accused it of running away from debating the Rafale deal, even as he reiterated the party’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe.
‘We won’t budge’
“Modiji has been Prime Minister for four and half years but has not waived a single rupee of farmers’ loans. I want to tell you that the Congress and other Opposition parties will unite till all farm loans are waived…We will not retract a single inch. We will not let him [Mr. Modi] sleep at night, till farmers’ loans are waived,” he told reporters outside the Parliament House.
Mr. Gandhi pointed out how the Congress waived farm loans within six hours of assuming office in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and assured farmers of full support for their demand. “The Congress and other Opposition parties are behind you. You don’t worry. Your work is being done,” he said.
In a sharp attack on Mr. Modi, Mr. Gandhi called the note ban as the ‘biggest scam in the world,” accused the government of distributing money to the friends of Mr. Modi and BJP president Amit Shah and helping a ‘debt-ridden’ Anil Ambani through the Rafale deal.
Asked about the Centre’s correction affidavit in the Supreme Court on Rafale, he responded, “A number of typo errors will come out now. On the JPC issue, on Rafale issue, on farmers, on demonetisation, you will start seeing type errors.”
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit back at Mr. Gandhi and said, “Nothing better can be expected from the president of a party that ensured that the people of the country don’t sleep due to their corruption and malpractices…This is a new low in the public discourse of the country.”
“You have illegally favoured an individual in the Rafale deal. The matter will be enquired into. JPC will be constituted and it will be discussed on the floor of Parliament,” Mr. Gandhi said.
The Law Minister dared the Congress chief to a debate on Rafale. “Show courage and discuss the fighter jet deal eye to eye. Don’t run away from the debate,” he said. Referring to Mr. Gandhi’s demand on farm loan waivers, Mr. Prasad questioned the Congress’ track record of six decades. “What have they done for farmers? They are doing just drama now,” he alleged.