Loan waivers will make farmers lethargic: Khattar
Chandigarh: The BJP's no-loan waiver policy for farmers will not have any political impact in Haryana in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, according to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who believes that such schemes only make hardworking people lethargic.
Khattar, who is the first BJP chief minister of Haryana, also says that Congress's Nyay scheme has no shadow budget and can only be implemented if all other schemes are closed.
"There will be no negative impact of the no-loan waiver policy. The farmers have matured. Rather than providing them loan waivers, we have made efforts to improve their profits. The prices of the crops have been set at much higher rates. We have announced aids to them but not waivers. Farmers are happy with our initiatives to make their business profitable... They had never seen this kind of money," 65-year-old Khattar told PTI in an interview.
"The farming community in Haryana wants to eradicate the reasons for their economic downfall. Once you get something for free, people tend to get lethargic. They take loans from here, there and everywhere and are not able to do financial management. And this kind of scheme (loan-waiver) may be beneficial to farmers in some states according to the situation but it is not in our state," he said.
"Congress's Nyay scheme is another example of the kind of politics they do. They have not presented any shadow budget to suggest that how such a huge amount will be generated. They can only roll out this scheme if they close all other schemes and utilise the cumulative funding for that. Can they afford to close all schemes for this," he asked.
According to Khattar, the nationalism debate in the country has not been fanned by the BJP but by the opposition parties which try to play with citizen's sentiments by talking in the "language of terrorists" and "supporting Pakistan".
"The debate on nationalism has been fanned by the opposition and not by us. They are doing politics on subjects of national interests. Had they respected the sentiments of the citizens of the country and not politicised them, nationalism would not have become this big an issue. They started rejecting and discarding the sentiments and people started taking it seriously.
"When people were taking it seriously, we had to take it too because ultimately people are the voters. They (opposition) talk in language of terrorists, their statements are in support of Pakistan and they raise doubts on armed forces ... Such an atmosphere has been created by the opposition. Here citizens love their country, patriotism is a fundamental character here, you can't play with it... They should restrain themselves from making such statements," he said.
Khattar, who is the first non-Jat chief minister of the Jat-dominated state, does not see the opposition as a competition in the 10 constituencies in Haryana which will vote on May 12 and believes the Congress has fielded its "heavyweights" in desperation in the state but they have no "character" and people are in a mood to uproot "dynasty politics".
"We will comfortably win the 10 seats. According to them (Congress), they have fielded heavyweights but their candidates only have number of years in politics to their profile but they are not heavyweight in terms of character. Each one of them has big question marks and people are wise enough to decide when there is a candidate with questionable history in fray," he said.
In 2014, the BJP had won seven seats, the INLD two seats and the Congress one seat in the state.
Asked about allegations of political vendetta levelled by former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in connection with the CBI raids and FIR against him in land allocation scam, Khattar said, "They always say BJP is targeting them. If they are 'heavyweights' how can they be targeted? If they are fair enough, why are they scared of investigation or enquiry?"
He accused the Congress of being responsible for the violence during the Jat reservation agitation in 2016.
"They burnt Haryana, the Congress was responsible for it. They wanted to do divide-and-rule politics and now when fingers are being pointed at them, they are trying to blame us. Offence is the best defence according to them. We were not even in favour of politicising that issue. The more they talk on it the more people will get to know reality," he said.
Khattar also believes that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's formal entry into politics will not yield any result for the Congress.
"There will be no benefits. Ultimately people have started co-relating... and the undercurrent is that people are fed up of dynasty politics. People feel that are they (Gandhi family) the only ones who will run the country," he said.
Khattar also is of the view that issues like Rafale deal and question marks on Balakot air strikes raised by Congress will not have any impact on BJP's performance in the elections.
"They (Congress) only raise issues which are not in the reach of common public to verify. Like Rafale and the Balakot strike. How can people verify that? They trust the statements of Armed Forces. Similarly, everything about Rafale is documented. They want it to be examined by a JPC which has political people and not judicial or audit experts," he said.