Ex-chief minister Kamal Nath on Saturday challenged Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to stand across him personally so he could provide the CM with the list of 26 lakh farmers whose farm loans were waived by the previous Congress government, with each minute detail.
Kamal Nath’s challenge to Chouhan came at a press conference in Gwalior where the ex-CM was on a two-day tour ahead of the crucial by-polls in the state. However, the use of term ‘nalayak’ (incompetent/useless) by the ex-CM in context of Chouhan while referring to the details of farm loan waiver has raised a political storm.
Kamal Nath said that a total of 53 lakh farmers had applied for loan waivers but a lot of them were ineligible as they had taken loans for house construction or purchase of tractor. Many had multiple loan accounts so it required a complex and long process. “Now, Shivraj ji is not so nalayak that he does not understand what kind of process is required for (loan waiver application processing of) 53 lakh farmers,” Nath said.
As this usage raised a furore, Chief Minister Chouhan responded by saying that people speak according to their own thought process and if Kamal Nath felt satisfied with use of such terms, he had no issues. “He has called me ‘nalayak’ earlier too, but I never called him names. The people of the state know what I am and that is good enough for me,” the CM said in Bhopal.
Kamal Nath’s media coordinator Narendra Saluja issued a statement saying that the Congress leader did not directly refer to Chouhan as ‘nalayak’.
‘Politics of lies deceit won’t work’
During the press conference, Kamal Nath said that politics of lies and deceit will not work anymore as people and voters are far more sensible now. Accusing the BJP once again of indulging in politics of horse trading and architecting the fall of a democratically elected government, the ex-CM said, “Ours was a government made by votes. Their government is made by notes (money). I trust the people will make the right decision. I also appeal to them to safeguard the Constitution and their own future.”
He further said that investments are attracted to a state when there is an atmosphere of trust. “Many investors’ summits were held and promises of lakhs of crores of investments were made. But did the investments come? Investors do not trust Madhya Pradesh because during the BJP government, the state is known for mafia, corruption and adulteration,” Kamal Nath said, adding that he has a taintless political career and no one can point fingers at him.
As for the Gwalior-Chambal region, Kamal Nath asked without naming Jyotiraditya Scindia as to why the region had faltered on development and who was responsible for this. Kamal Nath reiterated that he never interfered much in the politics and decisions related to the region earlier, but now the situation has changed and development of the region is among his top priorities.