Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday took aim at his successor Kamal Nath over the Congress government’s election promise of farm loan waivers, referring to a statement by the latter’s party colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia. “Not Shivraj, nor the public, now your own people are showing you the mirror and telling you loans have not been waived off, Kamal Nath ji! Will your government not wake up even now? Tears have dried up in farmers’ eyes but they have not received any money in their bank accounts! If you have any shame left then you must take a decision on loan waivers soon,” Mr Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.
His tweet quoted a statement by Mr Scindia in which he said, “The farm loan waiver for farmers has not been done in totality. Loan of only Rs. 50,000 has been waived off even when we had said that loan up to Rs. 2 Lakh will be waived off. Farm loan up to Rs. 2 Lakh should be waived off.”
Resentment among farmers had helped the Congress oust the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, albeit with a wafer-thin majority in state elections last year. The promise to waive off farm loans was a headline point in the Congress manifesto. At an expense of about Rs. 50,000 crore to the taxpayer, the Congress had said it would waive off loans up to Rs. 2 lakh. However, the programme has been criticised for patchy implementation. The loan waiver scheme is not the first point to earn Mr Scindia’s disapproval. Last month, he had objected to a survey by the Madhya Pradesh government to assess crop loss due to rain and flood in parts of the state.
His unhappiness with the party leadership was apparent when was quoted by news agency PTI on Thursday saying, “It is true that the Congress is in dire need of introspection. The party’s situation should be assessed and improved, that’s the need of the hour.”
A close associate of Rahul Gandhi, Mr Scindia had been waiting for a seemly post since the assembly elections. Failing to make it to the post of the Chief Minister or his deputy, he aimed for the post of the state party chief. But given Kamal Nath’s skill of keeping the faction-ridden party together and delivering a victory, he was asked to handle both jobs. Refuting any “issue” with Mr Scindia, Kamal Nath said earlier this month that he is “very open to the idea” of the 47-year-old heading the party, as he feels “burdened”.