Narendra Modi recntly remarked that Karnataka government’s farm loan waiver will go down in history as a “cruel joke” on farmers.

Is PM trying to ridicule farmers Dinesh Gundu Rao slams Modis loan waiver commentFile image
news Politics Friday, January 04, 2019 - 18:17

Now, it’s time for Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President Dinesh Gundu Rao’s turn to lash out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “cruel joke” remark on the farm loan waiver scheme in the state. Earlier, both Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and his predecessor Siddaramaiah had thoroughly criticised the PM on the issue.

Addressing the press at the KPCC headquarters in Bengaluru on Friday, Dinesh Gundu Rao questioned the PM’s contribution to farmers and alleged that Modi is the first Prime Minister to lie in a public forum. “Our coalition government has waived farm loans of seven lakh farmers out of 44 lakh farmers and the process for the remaining is going on. Narendra Modi criticises our initiatives so much, but the question is, what is his contribution to farmers?” the KPCC president said.

The war of words between the Prime Minister and top leaders of the Karnataka Congress-JD(S) coalition had started after the PM, on two occasions, ridiculed the state’s farm loan waiver scheme. Addressing the party workers via video conference on December 28, PM Modi had said, “What they have done in the name of loan waiver for the farmers will go down in history as one of the most cruel jokes on farmers. After six months in power, reports say the government could only benefit a handful of farmers with the loan waiver scheme.

The next day, addressing a rally in Ghazipur, PM Modi, said, “They gave lollipops to people in terms of assurances, and promised loan waiver but only 800 people got their loans waived. How can you trust these lollipop companies?”

This provoked a sharp reaction on December 30 from the Karnataka Chief Minister, who replied with a 12-point update to refute the Prime Minister’s claims and said the scheme is “an open book” with every detail available online.

Later, in a strongly worded address to reporters, former CM Siddaramaiah called Modi “anti-farmer” and even questioned the action taken by several BJP-led state governments.

Dinesh Gundu Rao even accused the PM of not being cooperative with the state government earlier during the time of Siddaramaiah’s chief ministership. He alleged that the PM “rarely” gave time to the former CM to discuss issues related to farm loan waivers and water disputes like the Cauvery and Mahadayi.

He also claimed that the PM was making a “cruel joke” by belittling the Karnataka government’s efforts. “PM Modi is making a cruel joke by calling farm loan waiver from our government as a lollipop. This reflects his attitude and concern towards farmers of our country. Is this his attempt to ridicule farmers and silence them?" he said.

He added, “The Prime Minister is losing his credibility across India and is the first PM to lie in the public forum on all important issues such as employment generated, Minimum Support Price (MSP), the progress of Clean Ganga project and other projects.”

Read: ‘Incorrect, insensitive’: K'taka CM challenges PM Modi's claim on farm loan waiver

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