Drought, farmers’ issues to take centre stage as oppn digs in heels

ST CORRESPONDENT
Monday, 17 June 2019

“About one lakh 20 thousand farmers will get the benefit of the Prime Minister Kisan Yojana before the Kharif season begins. The amount will be credited to the farmer’s account directly,” he informed. 

Mumbai: Though the Opposition parties had planned to corner the Maharashtra government over various issues including corruption and drought in the State, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis put a spanner in their works by removing some ‘tainted’ ministers during the cabinet reshuffle.

The Opposition had already trained its guns on State Housing Minister Prakash Mehta over corruption issue, but the Chief Minister dropped him from the cabinet to dilute Congress-NCP’s attack.

Senior leaders from the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) addressed a press conference here on Sunday and tore into claims by the Devendra Fadnavis government over developmental works.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council and senior NCP leader Dhananjay Munde alleged that the State government is a virtual government and its policies are only virtual. 

“The government’s failed policies had led to the State facing its worst drought since 1972,” said Munde.

The Opposition is going to demand Rs 25,000 for farmers and a complete loan and electricity bill waiver for them. However, the Chief Minister said that the government has already distributed Rs 3,200 crore as crop insurance. 

While talking about the drought situation, Fadnavis said that the government has already provided help to the farmers. “The government has provided fodder to the cattle camps and also supplied water to them. The compensation per animal for the cattle camps has been increased,” said Fadnavis.

“About one lakh 20 thousand farmers will get the benefit of the Prime Minister Kisan Yojana before the Kharif season begins. The amount will be credited to the farmer’s account directly,” he informed. 

Earlier, Munde said that removal of six ministers in Sunday’s cabinet expansion proved that corruption allegations against them were true. “Only the removal of such ministers is not enough. Since the State government only has a four-month term left, there should be an FIR against Prakash Mehta,” Munde demanded.

“All the development under this government is only virtual. Be it loan waivers, smart cities or reservation. The industries are shifting from Maharashtra to Gujarat,” he alleged.
Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat said that the government has neglected government staff, farmers and deprived classes and said that it worked for just a handful of people.
“There is no BJP wave in the State, unlike the Lok Sabha polls,” Thorat said.

Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar said that issues related to drought could not be solved sitting in ‘AC cabins’ and claimed that only 17 per cent farmers had received crop insurance, while this number was 18 per cent in case of farm loan waiver.

He dubbed Maharashtra as the ‘hub of farmer suicides’ and said that the State government was responsible for this dubious tag.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis countered all the allegation from the Opposition, saying that the Congress and NCP are disconnected from the common man and are unable to keep people happy. “Congress-NCP activists have no trust in their leaders,” said Fadnavis. 

While talking about allegations of corruption of ministers, Fadnavis said that the government is ready to discuss the issues, but the Opposition needs to give all pieces of evidence of corruption. 

Meanwhile, State Education Minister Vinod Tawde met Munde and requested the Opposition to co-operate with the government in the Monsoon Session. However, the Congress-NCP boycotted the customary tea party organised by the State government on the eve of the Assembly’s Monsoon Session.

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