The Shiv Sena on Wednesday boycotted the Maharashtra Cabinet meeting to display its solidarity with the ongoing strike by farmers in the state. The party also demanded complete loan waiver for farmers.
According to sources, the Sena apprehends that loan waiver announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis would help the BJP walk credit in the coming elections. They said the boycott is to mount pressure on BJP to share the credit with the Sena.
A Sena leader said, “We believe the loan waiver should be for all farmers and not just confined to small and marginal ones.”
Sena ministers met Fadnavis on Wednesday morning to convey their inability to attend the meeting. They reasoned that party president Uddhav Thackeray was on a holiday abroad; as a result, the party’s strategy will be discussed only after he returns and meets party leaders.
Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said: “The Shiv Sena has not boycotted the Cabinet. They sought permission from the chief minister to skip the meeting. We will discuss it with the Sena after Thackeray’s return.”
Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “The ministers have boycotted the cabinet meeting as we demand a complete loan waiver for farmers.”