New Delhi, Mar 11: Taking note of the Congress attacks on the NDA holding its six-year regime as responsible for the plight of the farmers, the BJP on Monday dared the Congress president Sonia Gandhi to agree for a detailed debate so that people could decide as to who was responsible for the sad state of affairs.
Agriculture flourished and the interest rates were brought down from 13 per cent level to nine per cent during the Vajpayee regime and the government took several measures to improve rural infrastructure like Grameen Sadak Yojana, cleaning up of irrigation tanks, all of which had come to a halt during the UPA regime, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said.
He said the UPA regime had only offered ''a chocolate to the farmers'' by stating that they need not pay back the loans obtained from the banks when it was an accepted fact that 70 per cent of the farmers obtained loans from private money lenders. ''Families having more than five acres of land cannot even get the benefit and the farmers are divided on their holdings.''
Even the Prime Minister had not clarified where Rs 60,000 would come from except for stating that it would be found during the next two to three years when his own position in the Prime Minister's chair was not certain beyond May 2008, he said. This only meant that the government just wanted to pass off the problem during the next Parliamentary polls and derive political advantage , Mr Naidu said.