Arni (Maha): Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday said his party stands firmly behind the distressed farmers even as he slammed the BJP for "reneging" on promises made to agriculturists in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Hitting out at the saffron party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said they have forgotten the promises made by them to the farming community after coming to power. "Congress was solidly behind the distressed farmers and will take up your cause and try to help you overcome the problems caused by policies under the BJP rule," the AICC General Secretary said at Vidarbha here, a region known for farmer suicides.
He was addressing a well-attended protest rally of farmers 'chai ki charcha' organised by the party to highlight "non-fulfilment" of promises made to cultivators by BJP and Modi.
Modi has forgotten all the 'chai pe charcha' promises made to the farmers in Dabhadi village of the district on March 20, 2014, the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said. Modi, then the BJP's PM face, had held discussions at Dabhadi with farmers at 'chai pe charcha', an interactive event that was part of the BJP's campaign.
Singh said Modi had promised that, if elected, his government would incorporate 50 per cent of the total input cost which would be paid over and above the MSP to make agriculture a profitable venture.
The NDA government has "reneged" on this and a number of other promises made to the farming community, the Congress veteran maintained.
BJP had promised to waive crop loan but instead Modi has quietly written off loans of big industrial houses to the tune of Rs 1.14 lakh crore and completely ignored the farmers, he alleged.
On the other hand, the Congress-led UPA had waived crop loans to the tune of Rs 72,000 crore in 2009, he said. Modi, on assuming office, also failed to live up to his promise of bringing back the black money stashed by Indians in foreign banks and depositing Rs 15 lakh in every individual's account, the Congress leader added.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Ashok Chavan, Rajya Sabha MP Raj Babbar, former MPCC chief Manikkrao Thakre, Youth Congress President Amrinder Singh Raja Brar and ex-Maharashtra Minister Shivajirao Moghe, among others, were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Chavan said the Congress will fight for the farmers and push ahead with its demand to waive their crop loan. Highlighting the plight of the farmers across the state, Chavan said three agriculturists allegedly tried to end their lives in front of the Chief Minister's Office in Mantaralaya (Secretariat in Mumbai) a few days ago, which shows their poor condition.
The former Chief Minister said the BJP-Shiv Sena government has failed to tackle drought in the state. Sending water trains to drought-hit areas shows that the government had not made any plan in advance to deal with water scarcity.