Nagpur: Targeting Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Monday claimed that Kalavati Bandurkar, a farmer's widow from Vidarbha, got no help from government.
Speaking at a function to mark opening of crushing season at his Purti sugar factory at Belo near Nagpur, Gadkari offered aid of Rs one lakh to her.
Kalavati, whose husband committed suicide in 2005, became face of the crisis faced by families of the farmers in Vidarbha's 'suicide belt', after Rahul mentioned her in his Lok Sabha speech during trust vote.
Gadkari said though Rahul met her, no financial assistance was given to her. Her son-in-law, and recently her daughter too, committed suicide.
The BJP chief criticised the government for "not being serious" about promoting use of ethanol-blended petrol which, he said, could save on petrol consumption.
He said the BJP-ruled states such as Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh were offering loans to farmers at one per cent interest rate, while Maharashtra offered crop loans at 12-13 per cent. Even a luxury car can be bought at a lower interest rate of 8 per cent, he said.
Senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were present at the function. Rajnath alleged that UPA government had failed to take concrete pro-farmers measures.