New Delhi: A large section of farmers in Madhya Pradesh have reportedly stopped repaying loans ever since Congress chief Rahul Gandhi vowed to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh if the party gets voted to power.
According to a report in The Time of India, farm loan repayments have dipped by at least 10% across the state since Rahul Gandhi first made the announcement in Mandsaur on June 6 – the anniversary of the death of five farmers in police firing.
The Congress chief has repeated the declaration at almost every election rally ever since, and the waiver promise is also a key aspect of Congress’ manifesto. “If Congress government is formed, within 10 days your loans will be waived,” the Congress chief has said.
Amid the fierce battle for the state, farmers have begun to skip loan repayments. This has been dubbed as an “abnormal trend” by officials of cooperative and nationalized banks since crops have been healthy this year.
A DGM-rank official of a nationalized bank quoted by TOI, said that while the reason behind this trend has not yet been ascertained, there is no denying the steady decline in recovery of loans from farmers since Gandhi’s announcement.“At the time of election, you can’t be tough with them, either. Let’s wait for the election outcome,” he said
According to the report, Kisan leaders cutting across party lines agree that a considerable portion of farmer population, who were paying their loans regularly, have stopped doing so.
The farm community in the state makes up nearly 70 per cent of the electorate and both the Congress as well as BJP have gone all out to woo them to pull head in the closely contested poll race.