BARGARH: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday hit out at both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik for not keeping promises and said Congress will keep its word if the party returns to power in the State.
Addressing a mammoth gathering at Sarsara ground in Bargarh, the Gandhi scion said the Odisha CM had announced to set up cold storages and ensure water irrigation to agricultural lands but farmers here continue to commit suicide. Prime Minister Narendra Modi raises farmers’ issues in all his speeches but a not a single day passes in the country without suicide by farmers, he said.
Targeting Modi for waiving Rs 3.5 lakh crore loan of big industrialists, Gandhi alleged that when the demand of farm loan waiver comes up, both Modi and Naveen reject it. Claiming that Congress delivers whatever it promises, the Congress president said the party implemented all its promises for farmers in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan after its return to power recently.
“In Chhattisgarh, we made three promises - loan waiver of farmers, hike in Minimum Support Price (MSP) on paddy and return of land acquired from the scheduled tribes for industries if the units are set up within five years,” he said and added that all the three promises have been kept.
Stating that the promise of farm loan waiver has been implemented in the three states, Gandhi said the Congress can replicate this for Odisha if voted to power in the state.
Chhattisgarh government announced loan waiver within six hours of Congress coming power while MSP on paddy was increased to Rs 2500 per quintal in two to three days, he said and added that land acquired from tribals for industry proposed to be set up by Tatas has been returned to the owners. Describing all three decisions as historic, Gandhi criticised the BJP led government at the Centre for trying to amend the Land Acquisition Act thrice to take away land from the tribals and give it to industrialists.
Gandhi lashed out at the Naveen Patnaik in Odisha which he alleged is being run by five to six officers. “Five to six officers run Naveen Patnaik government which is being remote controlled by Prime Minister Modi,” he said.
Targeting Odisha government for its inaction in the chit fund and mining scams, Gandhi announced that all those involved will be brought to book if Congress returned to power in Odisha. He is also criticised Naveen for his failure to create employment opportunities and as a result of which youths from Odisha migrate to other states.
Alleging that both Modi and Naveen have neglected health and education sectors by bringing in private players, Gandhi announced that right to health will be ensured if the party came to power in the next elections.