Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has welcomed the proposed elevation of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president, describing it as a step in the right direction to revive the party’s fortunes ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Talking to mediapersons here, the CM said the party elections announced today and Rahul’s elevation were long overdue. It was time to pass on the baton of the party affairs into the able hands of Rahul, who was mature and competent enough to lead the Congress into the next Parliamentary elections.
Responding to a question, Captain Amarinder said he was completely in favour of promoting youth, in whose hands lay the future of the party and the country. Pointing out that the Congress in Punjab had fielded the maximum number of youth in the last Assembly polls, Amarinder said it was in national interest to infuse young blood into the polity.
Captain Amarinder pointed out that he had always been in favour of Rahul taking over the party’s reins in order to inject the much-needed dynamism into it. Rahul had all the qualifications needed to provide strong and visionary leadership to the Congress, he added.
To a question on the Padmavati controversy, he said nobody had the right to distort history. He had himself studied history and even been to Chittoor, adding that cinematic license did not give anyone the right to twist historical facts. Those feeling hurt by distortion of facts had the right to protest, he said, adding that protests were a justified recourse in a democratic system.
On the farm debt waiver issue, the Chief Minister said the process was in full swing and he had directed the DCs to submit lists of eligible farmers from their respective districts. The waiver process would be rolled out soon, he added.
Reiterating his government’s commitment to farm loan waiver as per the notification issued last month, the CM said around 10.25 lakh debt-ridden farmers would get benefit of Rs 9500 crore under the scheme.
Under the notification, farmers owing money to cooperative, public sector and private banks, till March 31, 2017, will be benefitted. Farmers paying installments to banks will also benefit under the scheme. The state government has announced waiver of crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers who own up to five acres in the state, and Rs 2 lakh relief for other marginal farmers irrespective of their loan amount.