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2-min read

Congress Raises Farm Loan Waiver Issue in Gujarat, BJP Taunts With 'Medha Patkar' Comment

A large number of Congress workers attempted to force their way towards the Vidhan Sabha this afternoon and grappled with the police before being detained.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:September 18, 2018, 6:36 PM IST
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Congress Raises Farm Loan Waiver Issue in Gujarat,  BJP Taunts With 'Medha Patkar' Comment
Congress workers detained during Khedut Aakrosh rally and Assembly gherao march in Gujarat's Gandhinagar on September 18, 2018.

Ahmedabad: Congress workers clashed with the police and dozens of party workers were detained as the opposition party attempted to march to the Vidhan Sabha on Tuesday, seeking farm loan waivers in the state.

A large number of Congress workers attempted to force their way towards the Vidhan Sabha this afternoon and grappled with the police before being detained.

Meanwhile, day one of the two-day Assembly session was adjourned after paying tributes to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Prior to his detention, GPCC chief Amit Chavda said that the BJP government has been insensitive to the needs of farmers in the state and several other sections of the society. “As the opposition party in the state, it is our responsibility to stand with those who have not got what they rightly deserve. Waiver of farmer loans is one of our election promises and we will continue to raise this in an out of the Vidhan Sabha.”

MP Rajeev Satav, who was also detained by the police, said, “Thousands of crores worth of loans of industrialists have been waived off by the Gujarat government in the past. Why then is the government not willing to waive off farmer loans.”

Congress MP protest 1

(Congress workers detained by police in Gandhinagar.)

Virji Thummar, who was seen grappling with security personnel who prevented him from entering the Vidhan Sabha compound, later told the media, “BJP MLAs were being allowed inside… I am a MLA and had my identity card around my neck. Yet I was not allowed inside. I am not sure if any woman cop was pushed by me, but the fact is that cops were acting in a partisan manner.”

Thummar said that the BJP has alienated itself from the people and will pay a price for this in the 2019 general election.

The BJP, meanwhile, launched a counter attack on the Congress, claiming that the Congress has cheated several sections of the society in the past for its own political gains. State BJP president and Bhavnagar MLA Jitu Vaghani accused the Congress of “speaking the language of Medha Patkar.”

Jitu vaghani said, “Instead of participating in the Vidhan Sabha proceedings where tributes were paid to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Congress is using various groups for its own political gains. The Congress misled the Patidar community ahead of the elections and now in the name of farmers, its workers created unruly scenes in Gandhinagar. The Congress is speaking the language of Medha Patkar,” Vaghani said.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that the present leadership of the Congress including the GPCC chief and leader of opposition are young, but they should ask their elders what kind of atrocities earlier Congress governments did on farmers in the state. ”The Congress has done nothing for the farmers. It is under BJP rule that the Sardar Sarovar project has progressed rapidly and farmers are getting their dues,” Patel said.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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