Slamming its ally BJP, the Shiv Sena on Friday said that while Maharashtra Chief Minister was busy clinching business deals and attracting investments in the state, it was “heart wrenching” that debt-ridden farmers of Vidarbha were committing suicide.
The BJP-led state government has failed to meet the expectations of the people, it charged.
“The new CM (Devendra Fadnavis) being from Vidarbha ignited hopes that farmers in that region will get a new lease of life. But, the opposite is happening. While the chief minister was busy laying out a red carpet for investors in Davos, farmers here were committing suicide as they had no money to pay the lenders. Such incidents are heart wrenching,” an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ said on Friday.
Everybody thought the new government will succeed in ceasing farmers’ suicides committed due to non-payment of loans, drought conditions and losses arising out of crop failure, it said.
“But the current situation in the state seems to be completely opposite. Four farmers who committed suicide (on Wednesday) were from Yavatmal district and one from Chandrapur district. The numbers that add up in the last one month are astonishing,” the Sena said.
In a veiled attack on state Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse for his remarks that if farmers can pay their mobile phone bills, they can pay their power bills as well, it said: “They are over-burdened with debt. These farmers who committed suicide didn’t even carry mobile phones. Hence, no one will get a chance to ask why they cannot pay their electricity bills if they can pay their mobile phone bills.”
“During election season, farmers were showered with promises of a change. What happened to those promises? Who is responsible for fulfilling these promises now?” the Sena asked.
“Both the chief minister and the revenue minister are from Vidarbha region. Then why are farmers dying? They do not even have enough money to buy poison to kill themselves. Is this a sign of a good government? A minister declared Vidarbha as a liquor-free region. The government needs to ensure that the region becomes suicide-free as well,” the editorial said.