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Congress Loan Waiver Promise Exposed: Farmers Accuse Party of Breaching Poll Promise To Waive Farm Loans

Before coming to power in Rajasthan, the Congress had promised that farm loans would be waived. Now, more than three years later, farmers are sceptical that promise will ever be fulfilled.

Ayushi Raina
Farmers Accuse Party of Breaching Poll Promise To Waive Farm Loans
Farmers Accuse Party of Breaching Poll Promise To Waive Farm Loans

Sitaram Meena, a 75-year-old farmer in Nimehda, Rajasthan, stands alone in his farmland with his son. He took a bank loan in 2017, which is now worth Rs.22 lakh. To obtain the loan from Allahabad Bank, he had to mortgage his 44 bighas of land. 

Before taking power in Rajasthan in 2018, the Congress promised to erase farmer loans in the desert state. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi went to the extent of saying that if voted to power, the party would waive farmers’ debt in 10 days' time. 

It has been more than three years since Ashok Gehlot took the oath as chief minister. Meena and his son, Mangilal, who has been in charge of his septuagenarian father's finances, say they have no hope left that the government would fulfill its main pre-poll promise of farm loan waiver. 

"In 2017, we took out a loan of Rs.22 lakh. The bank requires that the loan be renewed or paid in full within five years. Our land is currently mortgaged, and we have no hope of the government waiving the loan," Meena, Sitaram 

His son Mangilal stated that the money was required to acquire agricultural equipment for drilling and other purposes, as Nimhera, on the outskirts of Jaipur, suffers from low water levels and irrigation requires costly equipment. 

"Every six months, we have to pay interest on the loan. We are concerned that if we do not repay the debt, our land could be seized and auctioned off. We have no hope left in the Gehlot government. We do not think that it will waive our loan," said Mangilal. 

Following the auction of a farmer's land in Dausa district last week, numerous farmers in the state are concerned that the same fate would befall them. 

Jagdish, a 53-year-old farmer from Nimhera, took a loan of Rs.1.8 lakh from Marudhara Gramin Bank in 2018 at an interest rate of 12%, mortgaging his 4 bighas of agricultural land. But now, after more than three years, he regrets his decision due to the low agricultural yield and the pressure to pay back his loan. 

"Politicians arrive when they needs vote from us. Otherwise, no one will look at our plight. So far, Congress has failed to keep its promise, and there is no reason to believe that it ever will. I manage to pay the loan's interest by selling some of my belongings "According to Jagdish Meena. 

Hundreds of farmers in Ramgarh PachwaraDausa district, had received notices from government banks threatening action such as seizure and auction of their land for nonpayment of debts. 

The body of a farmer, Kajod Meena, was found in his field two months ago. There have been allegations that he died by suicide after being pressured by the government bank to pay off his loan. 

Several farmers stated that they had expected that the promise of a farm debt waiver made by Congress before coming to power would be fulfilled, but that has yet to happen. They stated that they had not paid their installments since they thought the debt would be forgiven. However, when the loan amount climbed, they began to get notices. They are now afraid that their land will be confiscated and auctioned, robbing them of their livelihood. 

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