If needed, Centre will announce another farm loan waiver: Sachin

Seeking to revalidate his party's pro-farmer credentials, Union Minister Sachin Pilot on Sunday said the UPA government will not hesitate to announce another farm loan waiver, "if needed", to help distressed farmers.

Addressing an impressive gathering at Gurgaon on the occasion of the unveiling of his late father Rajesh Pilot's statue on his 68th birth anniversary, the young Congress leader reiterated the UPA's commitment to bridge the "gulf" between the rich and the poor and the urban and the rural. Echoing his party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's vision for the youth, Sachin committed himself to the task of ensuring that children of farmers get the opportunity to reach such positions as will enable them to frame policies for them.

Noting how the Centre substantially increased the minimum support price for wheat and rice, he reminded farmers how the UPA government, in its first term, had announced Rs 70,000 crore farm loan waiver. "Many economists, scholars and opposition parties had cautioned against it saying that it will spoil the farmers who will get used to not paying the loans. Billionaires can sleep with peace without paying the loans, but if a farmer has a loan of even Rs 10,000, he cannot sleep. If needed, the UPA government will not hesitate to announce it (loan waiver) again," said Sachin.

The Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Minister was obviously seeking to please his constituents as his remarks drew frequent applause from the crowd comprising farmers from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana. The larger message of Sachin's "kisan sammelan" in Haryana was, however, the revalidation of his claim over the political legacy of his father, especially among the Gurjjar community beyond Rajasthan from where they were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rohtak MP Deepender Singh Hooda, Union Minister Jitendra Singh and a host of legislators from Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi addressed the meeting.

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