Gujarat polls: Rahul promises farm loan waiver, free college education

Unfazed by the Somnath temple controversy, he visited Gadhdha Swaminarayan temple where he offered prayers

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Gujarat polls: Rahul Gandhi on Thursday signed off his two-day tour of poll-bound Gujarat with a promise to waive loans of farmers and provide free education in government-aided colleges if the Congress party comes to power in the state.

Unfazed by the Somnath temple controversy, he visited Gadhdha Swaminarayan temple where he offered prayers.

A row erupted on Wednesday after Gandhi’s name was found written in the entry register meant for non-Hindus at the famous shrine.

Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress leader claimed, “Modiji waived loans worth Rs 1.25 lakh crore of his five-ten industrialists’ friends, but Modiji and (Finance Minister Arun) Jaitleyji say that it is not their policy to waive loans of farmers when they ask for it.”

He was campaigning in Lathi in the Patidar-dominated Amreli district on the last day of his two-day tour.

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“Modiji talked for 22 years about farmers, but you have not got anything, your land has been taken away, your water is diverted to industrialists, and you do not get crop insurance,” he told a poll meeting.

“We make this promise to you that we will frame a policy within 10 days of forming a government in Gujarat to waive your loans,” he said.

Gandhi promised free college education in government- aided colleges and said that fees in other colleges will be reduced by 80 per cent if the Congress is voted to power in Gujarat.

He said the middle class and poor people have to pay Rs 10-15 lakh to realise their dream of making their children engineers or doctors.

“We will offer free education in government-aided colleges which are given money and aid by the government. (We will) reduce by 80 per cent fees (in other colleges),” he said.

Accusing Modi of proximity with select corporates, Gandhi said for the first time he has seen that all sections of the society in the state were “protesting”, whether it was the Patidars, Dalits, Anganwadi workers or farmers.

“Only five-ten persons are not protesting. They fly in chartered planes and are Modiji’s friends,” he said, alleging that “some of them get Rs 33,000 crore (loan) to make Nano car”.

Read more about Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017

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