Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday warned the government that his party will intensify its protest against Microfinance Institutions in a phased manner across the state. He added that the TDP would create awareness on abusive and arm-twisting measures of microfinance institutions in the recovery of loans from Self-Help Group women and rural folk.
Talking to media persons at the NTR Trust Bhavan, the TDP president said the party has decided to conduct conventions and dharnas in the first phase at constituency level with party workers from November 2 to November 8.
In the second phase, the party would organize dharnas and conventions in all district headquarters to create awareness on the issue from November 9 to November 13.
A state-level meeting would be organized in the capital on November 16, where the party would demand for waiving of all loans taken from micro finance firms, Mr Naidu stated.
Condemning the alleged statements made by Rural Development Minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar that women are utilizing the loans taken from MFIs to purchase cosmetics like make-up and powders, the Leader of the Opposition demanded that the Minister withdraw his comments immediately and issue an apology for issuing such irresponsible statements against women.
The Minister should understand the problems of hapless women, Mr Naidu said and added if the government made efforts to arrange loans for them through banks properly, this situation would not have risen at all.
Refuting the statements of Congress leaders that the MFIs had come into existence during the tenure of Telugu Desam Party, the former chief minister dared the Congress leaders to prove it with substantial evidence. “I am ready for discussion on the issue at anytime and anywhere,” he stated.
Mr Naidu warned Congress of serious consequences if they repeat their attempts to pin the blame on the MFI rot on the TDP and demanded that the Congress withdraw its allegations.
The former chief minister urged AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to intervene and solve the problem as they were responsible for encouraging SKS and other microfinance institutions in the state.