The Shiv Sena today said the loan waiver decision was due to its constant “throttling” of the Maharashtra government and that it has opted to remain in power to shake chairs of “lazy” persons. The Sena said the protests by farmers had its backing and the party’s message was “either to announce a complete loan waiver or get strangulated to death”. “The government adopted a dictator-like stand over farmer protests. Yet, farmers’ unity was the defeat of the government. By announcing an in-principle loan waiver, the government has managed to loosen the noose that had tightened around its neck,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.
It said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should be congratulated for announcing a loan waiver without asking for a guarantee that farmers henceforth will not commit suicide. “The government though has not announced the loan waiver with an open heart. It is the result of our constant throttling of the government. This is the answer to the question of why are we in power,” it said. “We are not in power to merely warm (ministers) seats but shake the seats of lazy persons. Though we cannot give a guarantee about (what will happen) tomorrow,” it added.
The Sena said the government should also give in-principle approval to stop the construction of the Samruddhi corridor (Mumbai-Nagur Expressway). “Farmers loan waiver should not get stuck in the intricacies of the word ‘in-principle’ or it will bear the brunt of breaching the trust of people. The government should immediately clarify the time period to fulfil the in principle announcement,” the Sena said. Two days ago, the Maharashtra government had announced a loan waiver for farmers and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief, after which cultivators called off their protests.
“The government has, in principle, decided to waive farmers’ loans with certain stipulations. The loans of farmers with small and medium land holdings stand waived from today itself,” Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil had said.