Will waive farm loans if voted to power in Haryana: Selja

The Congress will announce a loan waiver for the poor and farmers in the state if voted to power, Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja has said.

New Delhi: The Congress will announce a loan waiver for the poor and farmers in the state if voted to power, Haryana Congress chief Kumari Selja has said.

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In an interview to PTI, she said the Congress would not announce its chief ministerial candidate ahead of the elections and the same would be decided by the party high command after the polls.

The state Congress chief said the loan waiver promise would be part of the manifesto for the October 21 Haryana assembly polls and the document would be unveiled soon.

The Haryana Congress manifesto committee had submitted its report and final touches were being given to it, she said.

“When our government comes to power, we will waive loans of the poor, especially people who take small loans. We are also going to write off the loans of farmers who are being pushed to a corner and are suffering under the BJP government,” she told PTI.

The Haryana Congress chief said the loan waiver would be implemented within days of assuming power as has been done in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

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“We will carry out our promises within days and weeks of coming to power. We will give timelines. We will see to it that people see the difference between us and others who only make tall claims and believe in mere publicity and headline management,” she said.

Selja, who took reins of the Haryana Congress from Ashok Tanwar, said the Congress believed in fulfilling its poll promises “unlike the BJP”, which only used these to “mislead” the voters.

“The abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir is another tool the BJP is using to befool people,” she said.

Asked to comment on Tanwar’s resignation and his allegations on the Congress Party being the anti-thesis of democracy, Selja said, “The Congress has seen such rebellions in the past and has always come out stronger due to its inherent strengths. The Congress has the resilience to take these things.”

Selja refrained from making comments on her predecessor and said the party had appealed to everyone to work together in the interest of the organisation.

“Ashok Tanwar was named a star campaigner for Haryana. Now, he has chosen to resign. That is his decision. But we must all remember one thing. Organisations are bigger than people,” Selja said.

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On the issue of chief ministerial candidate in Haryana where former state CM BS Hooda is the Congress legislative party leader, Selja said the selection of the chief minister was a political decision and would be taken by the party high command.

“The call on the CM will be taken by the high command and not the elected legislators. Candidates after all are also decided by the party,” said Selja, adding that the Congress would not declare the CM candidate.

“There is no such convention (of naming a CM candidate) in Haryana,” she said.

The Congress veteran dismissed charges of factionalism in the state unit, saying divisions are now pass and everyone was moving together to ensure a Congress win in Haryana.

On the current crisis gripping the party wherein Tanwar and former Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam have both alleged conspiracy against former Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s aides, Selja said, “The Congress leadership has always overcome such temporary challenges.”

She said there was no fight between the old guard and the new leaders in the party and the Congress had always worked with cohesion.

“We have always had a pleasant mix of experience and new ideas. That will always be the case,” Selja added.

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Taking on Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, she said the BJP Government in the state had “given the Congress plenty to go to the people about.”

She said the BJP’s decision to drop sitting ministers and MLAs mirrored the state government’s poor performance and inefficiency.

“CM Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government is trying to import issues and not address the real ones concerning the state and its people. They need to give their report card. They have dropped sitting ministers and MLAs. That is an acknowledgement of their government’s failures,” Selja said.

She asked Khattar, “Kindly tell us how many people have been given employment? Kindly tell us how many paper leaks have happened and why the youth are being taken in by the drug mafia which is moving towards Haryana after Punjab took stern steps to curb the menace.”