PM waived loans of 22 people but couldn’t give Rs 9,000 cr for HP monsoon disaster: Gandhi

SHIMLA, 26 May: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waived loans worth Rs 16 lakh crores of 22 people in the last 10 years but could not give Rs 9,000 crore to deal with the disaster caused by monsoon rains in Himachal Pradesh last year, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday.

Addressing an election rally at Nahan in Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district, Gandhi said that, rather than helping the hilly state, Modi made an attempt to “steal” its elected government.

His statement came days after PM Modi alleged wrongful distribution of central flood aid by the Congress government in the state and promised action.

Gandhi was canvassing for Congress candidate from Shimla (SC) parliamentary constituency Vinod Sultanpuri.

The former Congress president alleged that Modi handed over all storage facilities to one person to control the prices of apples. The reference was apparently made to businessmen Gautam Adani, who possesses cold storage facilities and stores in the state.

The share prices of Adani-owned companies rise whenever Narendra Modi is sworn in, Gandhi claimed, adding that under this

government the dreams of only 22 people have been fulfilled, while the people of the country remain mute observers.

“The PM says god makes him do things,” Gandhi said, taking a dig at Modi. “Maybe god wants Modi to help Adani.”

“PM Modi waived loans worth Rs 16 lakh crores of 22 people in the last 10 years but could not give Rs 9,000 crore to Himachal Pradesh to deal with the disaster caused by monsoon rains,” he said.

Multiple spells of extreme rainfall in July and August last year brought Himachal Pradesh to its knees, killing more than 550 people and damaging private property and public infrastructure.

“I want to ask Modi whether this feeling or disease comes (to his mind) in the morning, evening or remains the whole day,” he commented.

Striking a chord with the people of the state, Gandhi asserted, “My sister lives here in Shimla. And remember, Rahul and Priyanka are your soldiers in Delhi and Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and the team of Congress party is your soldiers in the state.”

Gandhi also promised a guarantee on the minimum support price for crops and farm loan waiver if his party comes to power at the Centre.

He said that poor families would get Rs 1 lakh every year till they are brought above the poverty line. The former Congress president also promised to fill 30 lakh vacancies in government departments to provide jobs to the unemployed youths in the country.

He claimed that BJP leaders are attacking the Constitution by saying they would abolish it, and appealed to Congress workers to protect the Constitution by making an effort to ensure the victory of party candidates in all four Lok Sabha seats.

He said also that the media has lost its credibility.

He said if the Congress comes to power, it will give one year assured jobs to youths completing graduation under the ‘Pehli Naukri Pakki Adhikar’ programme.

Earlier, speaking at the rally, Sukhu said that Rahul Gandhi has given only one direction to him that the government should reach the last persons in society.

He lashed out at the BJP for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to oust the Congress government in the state.

This election is a fight between the public and the “sold-out” leaders, he said, and called upon the electorate to defeat opportunist leaders. (PTI)