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Posted on Feb 10, 10:53PM | IANS
Ghata Gaon (Gurgaon), Feb 10 : Pitching for farmers ahead of state polls this year and 2014 general elections, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot Sunday said the UPA government would not hesitate to bring another loan waiver for them, if needed.
Addressing a farmers' rally near here to mark the birth anniversary of his father and former union minister Rajesh Pilot, Sachin Pilot said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, in its first term, waived loans of Rs.70,000 crore concerning small farmers.
"If there is a need (for another loan waiver), we will not hesitate," he said.
The loan waiver benefited the Congress in the 2009 general elections.
The minister said the government was cautioned against the loan waiver by those who did not know the reality.
"They said: 'What are you doing?' Farmers will be spoilt. They do not know the reality. If the farmer has the burden of loan, he does not get sleep," he said.
The rally was preceded by unveiling of Rajesh Pilot's statue near the venue in Ghata Gaon village in Gurgaon by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
He also named a road adjoining the statue after Rajesh Pilot.
The rally, attended by young Congress leaders including MP Deepender Singh Hooda and Minister of State for Defence Jitendera Singh, saw repeated references to the leadership of the party's newly-appointed vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
Rao Inderjit Singh, the Congress MP from Gurgaon, made a veiled reference to sycophancy in the party and said he remembered Rajesh Pilot's speech at All India Congress Committee's Kolkota session for speaking out against it.
Rajesh Pilot, who was a prominent farmers' leader of the Congress and represented Bharatpur and Dausa in the Lok Sabha, died in a road accident in 2000.
Rao Inderjit Singh said young leaders such as Sachin Pilot were keen to take the country on the path of faster development.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who spoke after Sachin Pilot, had to face some odd moments as sections of crowd started dispersing soon after he took the mike.
Sachin Pilot stood up to urge the gathering to carefully listen to the chief minister. Hooda too urged the gathering to sit down.
In his speech, Bhupinder Singh Hooda hailed Rajesh Pilot as a leader who was "true friend of farmers" and was fearless in his expression.
He said Sachin Pilot was a reflection of his father.
"When Sachin Pilot was speaking, it appeared the soul of Rajesh Pilot was speaking," Hooda said.