Many members of the Maharashtra Legislative Accembly, mainly from the Opposition benches, Thursday expressed anger at an editorial on farmers’ compensation issue in Marathi newspaper Loksatta from The Indian Express Group last week, saying it was contemptful of farmers’ agony.
The issue was raised by Jitendra Awhad of the NCP, who sought to bring an adjournment motion on the issue. While the Speaker didn’t allow that, members were allowed to express their sentiments on the issue. Awhad said: “I condemn the language of the editorial ‘Balirajachi bogus bomb (the bogus clamour of the farmer)’. The farmer, who works hard to grow food and feed us, has been described as bogus and fraudulent (khotarda). Everybody should condemn it.”
He added: “The editorial refers to the gold worn by women in farmers’ families. Do you denigrate the farmer in this manner? This wrong understanding of freedom of the press wouldn’t be tolerated.”
Chhagan Bhujbal of the NCP and former agriculture ministers Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and Balasaheb Thorat too criticised the edit. Later, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the message must go out that the editorial had not gone down well with legislators.
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