Union corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot on Sunday said the UPA government may waive farm loans again in case the need arose.
Pilot organised a “kisan sammelan (a congregation of farmers)” in rapidly urbanisng Gurgaon on the 68th birth anniversary of his father Rajesh Pilot. Before the rally, a statue of the late Congress leader was unveiled by Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on a road that was also renamed Rajesh Pilot Road.
This was chosen as the site of the statue because the late Rajesh Pilot had led a farmers’ protest here against land acquisition for a Disneyland project in the 1990s.
Addressing an audience of mostly farmers, a key constituency of his late father who died in a road accident in 2000, the young minister made a perfect pitch: “The UPA government during its previous tenure launched the R70,000-crore farm loan waiver scheme. It helped lakhs of farmers in the country. We will not hesitate to bring out another scheme like this. Farmers’ interests are paramount for the UPA government.”
The passing on of political capital from Rajesh Pilot to his son Sachin was underscored by Rama Pilot, wife of the late Congress leader.
“My husband worked for the farmers of the country and he is no more. Now I have given my son to the country and he should always follow in his father’s footsteps,” she said, while addressing an impressive gathering of farmers from parts of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the chief guest of the rally, recalled his old association with Rajesh Pilot and called him a true leader of farmers.
Besides Hooda, his MP son Deepender and Union sports minister Bhanwar Jitendra Singh also addressed the gathering along with many other MPs and MLAs from Haryana and Rajasthan.