Rohtak: Farmers from Haryana were among the first to organise a Dhanyawaad (thanksgiving) rally to thank United Progressive Alliance Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the Rs 60,000 crore loan waiver announced by the Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the Budget.
But instead of enthusiasm or gratitude, there's confusion and anger on the ground.
Perhaps the Congress is hoping to turn the wheel of fortune and is on a desperate show-and-sell overdrive.
"Our government has done much more than any other government in the history of India has attempted to do," Deepender Singh Hooda, Congress MP from Rohtak, says.
But farmers like Bhujram are not impressed. Bhujram's future is as tricky and precarious as the medieval mechanism he uses to build his house - brick by brick. It is much like the fate of his wheat crop that depends on the monsoon and he feels he has missed his chance.
"I kept my book clean. I borrowed from here and there to avoid shame and repaid my loan. Now I get nothing," Bhujram says.
Bhujram does not have any overdue loan not because he earned so well but because he took another loan from a private moneylender to repay the bank.
Within days, the bank gave him another loan, which he used to repay the moneylender. It's a cycle that keeps him in debt, while keeping book clean. The locals call it naya purana (new and old).
"In our village you will find just one or two defaulters. Just three months back, bank showed the old loan as new. We have no defaulters," another farmer Om Prakash says.
In Rohtak, just one in six farmers will gain from the mega loan waiver and it is something that could backfire on the Congress's election plans.
"We have lost faith in the government. We will vote for Mayawati. She's promised a Rs 5-lakh loan waiver," Dayanand, another farmer, says.
And that could well answer the prayers of the Opposition, which claims that the waiver is an eyewash.
"Anek youjnayen Chaudhary Devi Lal ne aapne sashan kaal mein suru ki aur lagu ki jisse seedhe samaj ke sabhi biradri ke logon ko labh mila. Aage jab hame awsar milega to hum ker ke dikhayenge. Hum kehne mein vishwas nahi karte hain Chaudhary Devi Lal (former chief minister of Haryana) started many schemes during his reign which benefited the common man. When we form the government then we will launch more schemes. We believe in doing things)," INLD Rajya Sabha MP and Indian National Lok Dal Secretary General Ajay Singh Chautala says.
In the overcrowded bazaar of Indian politics, the Congress party is trying hard to win over the farmer with its mega loan waiver scheme but there are many questions being raised.
Why did it take the party four years to take the decision? What has the government done to secure the income of the farmer?
Indeed, had there been a real reversal in the fortune of the farmer, the Congress party would not have to try so hard.Haryana farmers not enthusiastic about loan waiver scheme