The opposition BJP cornered the Ashok Gehlot government over farm loan waiver in the Rajasthan assembly on Monday while the BSP and Rashtriya Lok Tantrik Party raised the issue of 5% Gujjar reservation.
BJP members created ruckus in the house over the issue of farm loan waiver, resulting in the house being adjourned several times.
As soon as the question hour got over, two BSP MLAs, Joginder Singh Awana and Sandeep Kumar rushed into the well of the house demanding that the government clarify its policy on the Gujjar reservation issue. They were joined by BSP MLAs Rajendra Gudha and Deepchand Khairiya. The speaker told them to return to their seats and they complied.
Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria raised the issue of farm loan waiver saying the Congress government has cheated farmers. He said the Congress in its manifesto, which has now become a government document, had promised that within 10 days of coming to power they would make a complete loan waiver.
He said the government had taken oath on December 17 and two days later the loan waiver was announced. “But even in its announcements, there seems to be no intention to give a complete loan waiver. The government should clarify what its intention is.”
Kataria said the BJP government after announcing Rs50,000 loan waiver had held 6000 loan waiver camps and given certificates to 27.3 lakh farmers.
He said the Congress government has only waived loans above Rs 50,000 taken by farmers from cooperative banks, which was already waived by the BJP government.
“The government has not clarified what will happen to the loans farmers have taken from nationalised banks, urban cooperative banks and land development banks. The government has put riders regarding small and marginal farmers. Can the government give details on the number of farmers benefited from its loan waiver and the total amount it has waived?” he asked.
“Why did you say complete loan waiver within 10 days if you could not do it?,” he said.
Replying to Kataria, parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal criticised the BJP leader for posing as the well-wisher of farmers. “Did you (BJP) declare the number of farmers who would be benefitted when you announced loan waiver?”
Kataria said BJP had announced that 29.3 lakh farmers would get loan waiver. Opposition members then trooped into the well of the house, shouting slogans against the government and against Congress president Rahul Gandhi. The slogan shouting continued even as Hanuman Beniwal the Rashtriya Lok Tantrik Party MLA started speaking on the Gujjar reservation.
Describing the four-day agitation by the community as serious, Beniwal blamed BJP for the deadlock in reservation. “They killed Gujjar and are now advocating Gujjar reservation and loan waiver,” he said.
If the centre can give 10% reservation to the EBCs then it should amend the constitution and give 5% reservation to Gujjar, he said.
Joginder Aawana of the BSP said the government should take Gujjar agitation seriously and give reservation at the earliest. If any untoward incident takes place, the government will be responsible. The state government should send a recommendation to the centre for giving reservation, he said.
BJP members, meanwhile, continued to shout anti-government slogans in the well of the house. Following this, speaker CP Joshi adjourned the house for an hour.
When the house re-assembled, the ministers tabled the demands for grants of their respective departments.
Three bills – The Rajasthan Cooperative Society (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Bhimrao Ambedkar Law University Bill, 2019 and The Haridev Joshi Journalism and Mass Communication University Bill, 2019 were tabled in the house. The bills will be taken up for discussion on Wednesday.
As the BJP MLAs continued to shout slogans, the speaker again adjourned the house for an hour and a half. The house later re-assembled and passed the bills before adjouring it till Wednesday.