Loan waiver: BJP protests in Maharashtra, says government ''betrayed'' farmers

PTI
Tuesday, 25 February 2020

"We are trying to raise the issues concerning farmers before the government. Our struggle against the government will continue till the farmers get justice inside the House and outside it as well," he said.

Mumbai: Accusing the Maharashtra government of "betraying" farmers over the issue of giving loan waiver, the BJP staged protests in parts of the state on Tuesday. 

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, who headed the BJP's protest at Azad Maidan here, said the protests will continue till cultivators get justice.
 
"The government has been betraying farmers since it was formed," Fadnavis alleged while addressing the protesters. 

He said protests were being staged by the BJP outside tehsil offices in the state. 

Besides Fadnavis, Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil, former state ministers Sudhir Mungantiwar, Ashish Shelar and Girish Mahajan and others took part in the protest at the Azad Maidan.
 
A BJP delegation will raise the issue with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari later in the evening, Fadnavis said. 

"There are 1.45 crore farmers. But the government has released a list of only 15,000 farmers (for grant of loan waiver)," the former chief minister told reporters earlier outside state Legislature building here.
 
"We are trying to raise the issues concerning farmers before the government. Our struggle against the government will continue till the farmers get justice inside the House and outside it as well," he said.
 
Later, addressing protesters at the Azad Maidan, Fadnavis accused the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of betraying farmers ever since it was formed.
 
Seeking to underscore the difference between the previous BJP-led government and the current MVA regime, Fadnavis said his party delivered loan waiver even though the issue was not part of its manifesto.
 
On the other hand, the MVA government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress is not giving farm loan waiver, despite the promise being part of the 'common minimum programme' of the three parties, he alleged. 

The BJP leader also said that more than 50,000 farmers from Kolhapur district have written a letter to Koshyari, alleging false loan waiver promise.
 
The letter will be submitted to the governor in the evening, he said. 

Fadnavis further alleged that farmers hit by unseasonal rains last year have still not received due assistance from the government. 

Without naming any party, he also sought to know what happened to the demand of giving Rs 25,000 per hectare (of crop loss) to farmers hit by untimely rains. 

The NCP and Congress made such a demand last year when they were in opposition. 

The Maharashtra Assembly was on Tuesday adjourned for the day after pandemonium over the farm loan waiver issue. 

The state government on Monday released the first list of 15,358 beneficiaries of the farm loan waiver scheme.
 
On the occasion, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his deputy Ajit Pawar interacted via video conferencing with some farmers whose bank accounts were credited with funds. 

"Under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule farm loan waiver scheme, 34,83,908 farmer accounts have been identified," said a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office (CMO).
 
Thackeray said the scheme's implementation has been done within 60 days of its announcement, and credited the state machinery for the speedy execution. 

The scheme to write off debts of farmers whose crop loan outstanding is up to Rs two lakh till September 30, 2019, was announced by the chief minister in December last year, after he took charge of the coalition government.  

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