Replicating a pre-election demand that worked well for it in Chhattisgarh, the Congress on Friday demanded that paddy farmers in Maharashtra be given a bonus of Rs 800 per quintal.
Congress state president Ashok Chavan raised the demand during a party rally in Vidarbha’s Gondia, which has a sizeable paddy farming population.
“The Congress-ruled government in Chattisgarh has announced Rs 2,500 per quintal for paddy, whereas in Maharashtra, farmers are getting just Rs 1,600 to Rs 1,700 per quintal. Our demand is that the state government should come out with a bonus of Rs 800 per quintal to make up for the loss,” said Chavan.
Other leaders who spoke on the occasion also hit out at the “anti-farmer” policies of the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP.
Attacking the ruling regime over “failed promises”, Chavan said that the “winds of change are blowing across India” while urging voters to “bury the BJP and the Shiv Sena in the state”.
Rising farmer suicides in Maharashtra in the last four years was another issue that the Congress leaders used to target the BJP during the rally.
Meanwhile, the NCP staged a public rally in Konkan’s Khed, where its leaders accused the ruling BJP of “using emotive issues” to misdirect the voting population. Alleging that the police machinery in the state was being used to muzzle voices of dissent, Maharashtra’s former deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar, alleged that “the BJP was pushing Emergency through the backdoor”.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, Dhananjay Munde, fired barbs at local Shiv Sena leader and state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam.