Echoing the Opposition’s demand for announcement of a waiver on farm loans, the Shiv Sena took swipes at the BJP leadership on the floor of the House. “Singing praises of Modi (Narendra Modi) is not enough. It was the farmers that brought us to power in Maharashtra, electing 200 legislators. They had voted out the previous government as they found it useless. If we do not strive for them, they will deem this government useless too,” Shiv Sena legislator Gulabrao Patil said during a discussion on the farm crisis.
To score over the Opposition that has been boycotting proceedings in both Houses over the demand for a loan waiver for drought-hit farmers, the ruling benches had initiated a proposal for a discussion on the issue.
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Heaping praises on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s Anil Gote, who spoke first on the proposal, targeted senior Congress and Nationalist Congress Party leaders, including former Union Minister Sharad Pawar, for rising farmer suicides and deepening agrarian crisis in the state.”We are paying the price for the sins of the Congress and NCP. Their corruption has contributed to the sorry plight of farmers in the state,” Gote remarked.
But even as the BJP legislators were thumping benches, Gulabrao Patil objected to the “politicisation” of the farm suicide issue, following which there was a verbal duel between legislators from both parties.
Patil, who was the next to speak, however, adopted a contrasting tone.
”We call farmer the king, yet make them suffer,” he remarked.
While appreciating works taken up under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s pet ‘Jalyukt Shivar’ initiative for drought-proofing Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena legislator gave former CM Prithviraj Chavan the credit for the idea.
“It was he (Chavan) who first took the initiative. But the initiative suffered due to simmering ties between the Congress and the NCP. Farmers might have even elected them back in power had they taken up these works satisfactorily,” Patil said.
Though the BJP has been quoting the poor financial condition of the state to resist a loan waiver, Patil said, “It’s no use to tell farmers that the state debt has now touched the Rs 3.85 lakh crore mark. They elected us on the promise that they would get light and water. While it’s early days in the government, we must work to fulfill this promise.”
Another Sena legislator Arjun Khotkar said the government must work towards making farmers loan-free. He also said the drought-hit Marathwada continued to get a step motherly treatment.