Opposition members today created ruckus in the Maharashtra Legislative Council over Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ statements over the farm loan waiver issue. Speaking in the Assembly yesterday Fadnavis had sought to know from the Opposition if it can guarantee that no farmer suicides will take place if a debt waiver is announced. He had also accused Opposition Congress-NCP of shedding “crocodile tears” over the plight of farmers.
Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde said by not making a statement in the Council over the loan waiver issue, the Chief Minister had shown disrespect to the Upper House. He demanded an apology from Leader of the House, Minister for Cooperation Chandrakant Patil, for the same. Patil said amid din yesterday he tried to tell the House Fadnavis was about to come to the Council to make statement, but the Chair adjourned proceedings for the day.
The state’s annual Economic Survey report was tabled in the Council amid noisy scenes.
Sunil Tatkare (NCP), raising a point of order, argued Minister of State for Finance and Planning Deepak Kesarkar of Shiv Sena did not have the moral right to table the report as his party, too, was pushing for farm loan waiver.
The Leader of Opposition said Fadnavis has not set foot in the House ever since the budget session began nine days ago.
Munde countered the CM’s query to the opposition on the loan waiver with his own set of questions. Munde sought to know whether the government would give 50 per cent extra assured support price and ensure 100 per cent procurement of all farm produce.
Munde wanted to know whether the government can assure there will be no drought in the state in future.
Referring to the recent hailstorms and unseasonal rains in Marathwada region, he wanted to know whether the government can stop these natural occurrences. As the opposition members began raising slogans, Deputy Chairman Manikrao Thakre adjourned the proceedings for half an hour.
After the House reassembled, Sharad Ranpise (Congress) said to bail out traders the government scrapped the local body tax (LBT), but it has no money for farmers.
Narayan Rane (Congress) questioned the treasury benches joining the protest over the loan waiver. The former chief minister advised the ruling BJP, Sena ministers and members to quit and hit the streets to seek relief for cultivators.
As the uproar continued, the Deputy Chairman again adjourned the proceedings for 30 minutes.
Amid noisy scenes, the government tabled the Economic Survey in the afternoon after which Chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar adjourned the proceedings for the day.