JAIPUR: Rajasthan’s Congress government, in a bid to outmaneuver the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s “jail bharo” agitation, launched loan waiver camps across the state on Thursday.
In an apparent pre-emptive response to the BJP’s agitation, which the party had said it would launch if the newly-elected Ashok Gehlot government did not fulfil its pre-poll promises, Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot kicked of the waiver camps by inaugurating one near Jaipur.
According to functionaries within the government, Rs 9,500 crore in loans of cooperative banks will be waived off till February 9, a move that will benefit 24 lakh farmers.
While 33 camps were held across the state on Thursday, 66 camps are expected to be held on February 8 and 9.
“Congress president (Rahul Gandhi) had promised the loan-waiver to farmers and the decision was taken within two days of the government’s formation. We are executing this, which shows that Congress fulfills what it says,” Pilot said at the function after he handed out the waivers.
State BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said, “the Congress promised loan waivers for all farmers, but now, they are adding provisions and giving it to a select few. We want to know where they will get the money from as they haven’t taken any loans.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party however, questioned the government on how it was planning to finance the waivers as no loans had been taken from any agency and said the party would continue with its protest