Following the farmers’ loan waiver being passed by newly appointed CM Kamal Nath of Madhya Pradesh, two other recently Congress-won states – Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan governments also decided to waive off the farmers’ loans to keep up with the promises made prior to elections.
Ashok Ghelot, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan had met Chief Secretary D B Gupta and some of the senior officials of finance, cooperatives and agriculture departments on a day before he announced the loan waiver. Citing the fact that many farmers unable to pay back the loan, took their own life, under previously ruled government, Ghelot announced on Thursday that the new state government will pass the farmers’ loan of up to Rs 2 lakh that were defaulted till November 2018. By passing the Rs 18,000 crore worth decision, Rajasthan will be the fourth state to waive farm loans after Congress ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and Assam which is held by BJP.
The decision was made within two days after Ghelot took oath, and was implemented officially with less than a week. Talking about fulfilling the promise of loan waiver, Rajasthan deputy CM Sachin Pilot tweeted, “Our government has announced loan waivers for farmers as was promised by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Congress does what it says”. Countering Pilot’s claims, BJP’ Rajasthan state president Madan Lal Saini talked about the passage of loan waiver saying that, “We will study in detail government order on farm loans to check if there are any hidden riders. The party will react after that only”.
Since getting reelected in three states, Congress has been repeatedly referring to loan waivers by the party’s governments, challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do the same in other states. Perhaps, the political barb would not allow the Centre to “sleep or rest” till all waived farm loans, to comply with the trend, two BJP-led state governments that were seen as trying to catch up the farmer loans as Assam said it would waive farmers’ loan, Gujarat did write off rural electricity bills to the tune of Rs. 650 crore. Despite the political agendas, this is turning out to be a healthy competition, beneficial in the interest of the common man.