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Rahul Gandhi slams basic income, promises farm loan waiver for all

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Patna, Feb 03: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday promised a nationwide waiver of farm loans if voted to power in the 2019 general elections.

Congress chief Rahul Gandhi addressing rally in Patna on Sunday. Photo credit: PTI

Addressing Congress's first rally at Patna's Gandhi Maidan after 28 years, Rahul Gandhi said the BJP makes promises while Congress keeps them. "Is there anyone here who received Rs 15 lakh in their bank account, like Mr. Modi promised? A farmer's family got only ₹17/day in the new budget," he said.

"Modi-ji has insulted the farmers of Bihar and the rest of the country," he said. "If you insult the farmers, then the farmers will give you an answer. Farmers are saying 'we want Congress, not the BJP'," he added.

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"Within days of coming to power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh we announced farm loan waivers. In MP, we did it in hours. Loan waiver will be granted to all the farmers across the country if the Congress comes to power," Rahul Gandhi said.

Rahul Gandhi's announcement comes two days after the government announced a cash transfer scheme for small and marginal farmers in the interim budget.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the Congress and termed farm loan waivers a "gimmick" just to win votes.

"The farmers' debts don't go away because of loan waivers. It only fattens the middleman's pockets," Modi said.

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"Ten years ago, in 2008-09, the Congress promised loan waivers to the farmers. At that time, the outstanding debt was Rs 6 lakh crore. That was when the remote control government was in place. But after the elections, when they came to power, they only waived off debts worth Rs 52,000 crore. They cheated the farmers," he said.

"The Congress government in Rajasthan has said it can't do it. They have no intention to waive loans. They are only fattening the middlemen's pockets. These people cannot function honestly," he said.

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