Will agitate if proj not rolled out: Shard Pawar

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 3 October 2017

"The Chief Minister has said that farmers will get a loan waiver by Diwali. However, if that does not happen, we will start an agitation after November 5. There will be a meeting in Aurangabad on November 5 in this regard. We will take the final call at the meeting," he said

MUMBAI: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is all set to take the government to task on the issues faced by Maharashtra. NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that his party would take a call on launching an agitation over the loan waiver scheme for farmers if it is not implemented by Diwali.

"The Chief Minister has said that farmers will get a loan waiver by Diwali. However, if that does not happen, we will start an agitation after November 5. There will be a meeting in Aurangabad on November 5 in this regard. We will take the final call at the meeting," he said. "NCP will hit the streets on the issues of inflation and farmers' loan waiver," he said.

The NCP chief was in Mumbai to meet party workers. After a meeting with the workers, he explained the future course of action of the party. In the meeting, Pawar indicated to the NCP workers that there is a consensus against the government, as the government failed on various fronts. Pawar showed concern over 'economic slowdown' and unemployment under the Modi regime.

"The current situation in the country is a result of taking steps like demonetisation and GST roll-out without adequate preparedness," he said.

He also said that it is time to take the government to task and for that, the party has to work hard in the State.

Pawar further said that he has received various suggestions pertaining to the proposed agitation on the loan waiver. "It includes non-cooperation movement and whether or not farmers should pay taxes to the government," he said.

Pawar claimed that the total outgo due to the loan waiver announced by the government would not exceed Rs 12,000 crore because "most farmers will not be eligible for the scheme due to the government's impractical norms".

"The investment climate in the country is not good today and, hence, there are no fresh investments. The Make in India slogan seemed very attractive initially, but its hollowness has begun to show now," he said.

Criticising government slogans such as 'Make in India' and 'Make in Maharashtra', the NCP chief said that the slogans sounded nice attractive initially, but people are suffering from it now. "All major corporates in the country are cutting jobs. Be it demonetisation or GST, both have impacted the Indian economy," said Pawar.

Also taking a dim view of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, Pawar said technology and modernisation should be feasible.

While talking about the bullet train project, Pawar clarified that his party does not oppose development and new technology, but the bullet train project is not beneficial to Maharashtra. "Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train has only 25 per cent of its route here, but both Gujarat and Maharashtra are paying an equal amount. Priorities should be fixed. Instead of spending Rs one lakh crore on this project, the condition of Mumbai locals must be improved," he said.

"A bullet train is required between Mumbai and Delhi or Delhi and Kolkata or Mumbai and Chennai. A bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is impractical. I do not know what is the purpose behind this bullet train," he said.

Asked about former chief minister Narayan Rane's decision to launch a party, Pawar said, "He (Rane) could not even induct his own son in his party. What more can I say about this?"

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