Soon after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the Centre’s disassociation with loan waivers for farmers, the Congress party on Tuesday lashed out at the former, saying the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) must not make promises they cannot deliver.
“During the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP in their manifesto spoke about farmer loans being waived off. With the current situation of farmers in the country, it is not right for the Centre to fall back on their words. The BJP must ensure that the farmers get their dues on time. Nothing can be more unfortunate than farmer suicides,” Congress leader Shobha Oza told ANI.
Supporting this stance, senior advocate KTS Tulsi asserted that farmers must get remunerative prices for their produce, adding that this atrocity should not prevail against those that ‘feed the nation’. “Farmers cannot keep dying like this. They feed our nation. They must be paid their dues,” he told ANI in New Delhi.
Earlier on Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Centre would not fund for loan waivers for farmers, adding that the states must fund for this on their own expense. This decision comes in the wake of the loan waiver that was recently announced for the farmers by the Maharashtra government, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The situation of farmers in many states has gone from bad to worse, owing to a decline in crop prices on both the domestic and international front. Farmer suicides have surged significantly in the last year, with agitation being staged in various pockets of the country. The most recent upheaval was witnessed in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district, where farmers have been protesting demanding loan waivers and good prices for their produce. On June 6, curfew was imposed after five farmers were killed in police firing during a protest.