Hathras, February 13
Whenever major scams are unearthed in India “people from a particular place are found involved”, claimed Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Sunday while referring to the Rs 22,842 crore bank fraud by the Gujarat-based ABG Shipyard.
Addressing an election meeting at Sikandararau here, he claimed a poor person has to mortgage his land to avail a bank loan while big businessmen fly abroad after getting a huge loan.
On February 7, the CBI booked ABG Shipyard Limited (ABGSL), its former chairman and managing director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal and others for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India of over Rs 22,842 crore.
The ABGSL being a major player in the Indian shipbuilding industry operates from shipyards located at Dahej and Surat in Gujarat.
“Those who have read the newspapers would be knowing that a major bank scam has taken place. Whenever these major scams take place, people from a particular place are involved. In the scams, which had taken place earlier, a number of people were from that place,” the Samajwadi Party chief said.
“The money in the bank is of the poor. When a poor person wants to avail a loan, he has to mortgage his land. But these big businessmen take a big loan from the banks, arrange an air ticket and go to a foreign country,” he said.
Taking on the BJP, Yadav claimed the ruling party had promised that people wearing ‘hawai chappal’ (slippers) would travel on aircraft.
“But, with diesel and petrol becoming costlier, the poor are unable to ride a motorcycle. Farmers are facing hardships due to price rise. Hence, the Samajwadi Party has decided that, if needed, we will give free petrol,” he said.
Claiming that farmers had never faced so much hardship as they did under the “double-engine” government, he promised free fertilizers for the poor and small farmers if the Samajwadi party-led alliance emerges victorious in the Uttar Pradesh polls.
“If needed, we will construct purchase centres and ‘mandis’, so that we can buy the crops from the farmers at minimum support price.”
He also pledged compensation of up to Rs 5 lakh to the families of those killed by stray bulls in the state and reiterated 300 units of electricity would be provided to domestic consumers for free.
Referring to the alleged gang rape and killing of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras in 2020, he said that had there been a hospital and treatment was provided, the victim’s life could have been saved.
“But after she lost her life, the BJP government robbed the family of its honour by cremating her forcibly in the night. Her brother told me over phone that the family had wished to cremate her in the morning. The government could not allow this wish of the family to be fulfilled.” Hathras will go to the polls in the third phase on February 20.
The Samajwadi Party chief termed the 2022 Assembly election as the one to save democracy.
“You must have known in which direction the winds were blowing in the first phase of the polls... Every party may say claim differently but the atmosphere of Uttar Pradesh changed after the votes were cast in the first phase and so has the language of the BJP leaders,” he told the poll meeting.
Slamming the BJP government over the law-and-order situation in the state, he said, “Under the BJP’s rule farmers were crushed by the son of a minister and most numbers of fake encounters occurred in the state. We will take tough decisions to maintain law and order in the state and no mafias will be spared.” He committed to building a memorial for farmers who died during the anti-farm law agitation and pay a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the family of farmers who had lost their lives.
Yadav also touched upon the welfare of asafoetida traders of Hathras, saying all support will be provided to make asafoetida of the region a global brand.
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