Congress plans to make Sunday farmer rally a success

March 5th, 2008 - 1:02 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) met here Tuesday to give final touches to a massive farmers rally planned for Sunday, ostensibly to cash in on the Rs.600 billion loan waiver for farmers announced in the national budget. “Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the farmers on Sunday at the Ramlila grounds,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari told IANS. He said the “canards” being spread by opposition parties about how and from where the loan waiver funds will come would be cleared by the prime minister in his speech.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had announced in his budget speech that loans taken by all small and marginal farmers from banks till December 2007 would be waived off. Soon after the budget speech, a number of farmers from neighbouring states were off-loaded by Congress workers at Sonia Gandhi’s residence to thank her for the bounty.

Prior to the budget presentation the opposition had been criticising the central government for what it termed as failing to take care of the needs of farmers, leading to farmer suicides due to debt. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had passed resolutions in its national council meet in Delhi in January to espouse the cause of farmers.

After the loan waiver was announced, the opposition has been cornering the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to ask from where it planned to get the huge amount.

The PCC meeting held late Tuesday evening discussed the finer details of the rally. The farmers from neighbouring states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab will attend the rally, Tiwari said.

The rally also aims to build further support for the party - aided by the loan waiver and a very people-friendly budget - in the coming Delhi assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

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