Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that farmers would not have been forced to take loans had the previous Congress governments completed projects meant for farmers.

In a public meeting held in Jharkhand’s Palamu, the PM said while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cares for the future of farmers and their welfare, the Congress treats them as nothing more than vote bank.

“Farmers are a vote bank for Congress, and for us, farmers are our food providers. This is the difference between Congress and BJP,” he said.

“There wouldn’t have been a need for farmers to take loans had the previous Congress governments completed the projects that were meant to benefit farmers,” the PM added.

He also took a jibe at the Congress governments in states over the issue of loan waivers.

“First they forced farmers to take loans, now they’re misleading them in the name of loan waivers,” he said.

The Prime Minister had previously accused the Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka of making hollow promises to the people before elections for political gains.

In a public meeting in Ghazipur on 29 December, the PM said that the alliance government in Karnataka led by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had promised to waive off loans of lakhs of farmers but has only done so for 800.

“They gave the lollipop of a farm loan waiver, votes were stolen but so far only… the loans of 800 farmers have been waived off,” Modi had said while exhorting people to understand “such games”.

“Long queues for urea, fertilizers can be seen in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Black-marketeers are now back on the field,” the PM had said hitting out at the Congress governments.

In his address in Jharkhand today, the PM said that his government is transferring money directly into the accounts of beneficiaries thus maintaining transparency.

“There is no place for brokers and middlemen in our government,” the PM said.

In a particular reference to the numerous schemes launched by the Congress in the name of former Prime Ministers from the party, the PM said the projects that were launched in such a manner are no longer on the ground.

“Our government believes in working, not arguing over names,” he said, adding, “We didn’t make Narendra Modi Awas Yojana, we didn’t make Namo Awas Yojana, we didn’t make Raghubar Das Awas Yojana, we made Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana so that the next PM can take the work forward.”

Underlining his government’s achievements in the past five years, the PM said that the “remote control government” had built only 25 lakh houses in 5 years but his government constructed 1.25 crore houses in less than five years.

In Jharkhand, which is a BJP-ruled state, the PM laid the foundation stone of various development projects including the North Koel (Mandal Dam) project and Kanhar stone pipeline irrigation system.