In the run-up to the assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the Congress and its president, Rahul Gandhi heavily exploited the issue of farm loan waivers. The grand old party came to power in the said states after promising ambitious farm loan waivers. The party definitely remained ignorant about the negative consequences of such loan waivers kept announcing such populist measures. However, after irregularities in the form of fake loan waivers have started to come up from the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is left red-faced.
In the latest report, some farmers in the Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh have claimed that even though their names are mentioned in the list of waived loans, they had never taken a loan. This created an absurd situation where loans are waived off even though no such loans had been taken in the first place. Sagar District Central cooperative committee manager in a conversation to the ANI said, “We’re collecting information from the bank manager. Action will be taken if someone is found to be at fault.” This seems like a major irregularity and creates a big doubt about the authenticity of the farm loan waiver scheme in the state. This is not for the first time that such a report has come from Madhya Pradesh. Earlier, the dubious case of Rs 120 crore non-existent farm loans being waived off had raised eyebrows. Many had wondered if this was a scam in making. Fake waiver of farm loans is nothing less than an obvious scam and one can’t help but wonder if there are large scale irregularities in the garb of farm loan waiver.
However, Madhya Pradesh is not the only Congress-ruled state from where reports of fake farm loan waiver have come up. Earlier this month, the Times now had reported that a mini co-operative bank in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan had named people for farm loan waiver who had actually never taken any loan. According to the inputs by Times Now, at least 1700 people who had never taken any loans, found themselves on the beneficiaries’ list. And this is only the district of Dungarpur that had come into limelight and it could very well be proved as just the tip of the iceberg. This instance of a major irregularity was reported from a village in the Dungarpur district and the possibility of similar irregularities from other districts could not be ruled out. As per Times Now, this was not a technical mistake and the channel had claimed that it got confirmations from several sources and multiple officials.
It is clear that there have been cases of farm loan waivers with those who in reality had never taken loans but found themselves on the beneficiaries’ list. This could very well be a case of embezzlement of public money. These farm loan waiver schemes which are nothing more than a populist tool employed by the Congress has already put a great burden on the financial well-being of the states. If there are scams over and above the populist scheme, then it is going to spell disaster for these states. These dubious cases should be taken seriously and there must be high-level probes on an urgent basis in order to find out the truth behind such cases.