The Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi while raising the issue of a loan waiver for farmers in the state.
“Farmers have taken to streets for their demands. The government has no other option but to waive off their loans.
We have come here to tell you that the Opposition will not sit quietly until the loans are waived off…’bahot mann ki baat ho gayi ab kaam ki baat karo’,” he told a gathering at Variety Square here on the second day of the 8-day ‘Sangharsh Yatra’.
The Yatra or the campaign was launched by the Congress and the NCP at Chandrapur yesterday. It will culminate in Banda in Sindhudurg district on April 5, after covering various places in Maharashtra.
On the second day of the joint campaign, the Congress and NCP leaders visited Sevagram, Pavnar, Selu, Butibori and Nagpur.
“Sangharsh yatra is not for garnering votes or deriving a political mileage. The government is talking about metro trains and smart cities at a time when the farmers are suffering. We will intensify our campaign in coming days if our demand for the loan waiver is not met,” the opposition leader said.
NCP leader Jitendra Awhad said that entire Maharashtra, including Vidarbha region, is in the grip of serious agrarian crisis.
“Farmers are committing suicide as they are unable to repay loans, and their families are affected badly,” he said.
Referring to the suspension of 19 MLAs of the Congress and NCP from the Legislative Assembly last week, Awhad said they did not care about the action taken against them for the cause of farmers.
The MLAs were suspended for disrupting the budget speech of state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on March 18.
On the School Education Minister and BJP MLA Vinod Tawde’s criticism that the opposition members are “making mockery” of the plight of farmers by travelling in air conditioned buses during the yatra, the NCP leader said, “Have they forgotten that air conditioned bus yatra is the legacy of (BJP leaders) L K Advani, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi.”
He said the government is getting jealous because of the “overwhelming response” being evoked by the ‘sangharsh yatra’.
Another NCP leader and former minister Jayant Patil accused the government of turning a blind eye to the problems faced by farmers.
“Around 3050 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra in 2016, but the government has not taken any note of it,” he alleged.