Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve on Wednesday stoked a controversy when he said farmers continue to complain despite the state government doling out sops to bail out tur growers.
"The state government has so far procured the highest amount of tur in the history and it is going to purchase additional 1 lakh tonne; still some (referring to farmers) continue to complain," Danve said.
"...ajoon ek lakh tonne tur kharedi karnaar aahe taree radtaat (We are going to procure 1 lakh tonne of tur but still they are crying)," he said in a reply to a question raised by a BJP worker in Jalna in Marathwada on Wednesday afternoon.
The worker had asked Danve how he should respond to farmers on delayed tur procurement issue.
Danve was interacting with party workers after inaugurating the office of Maharashtra Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Babanrao Lonikar.
The Centre last year had undertaken a massive programme to increase production of tur in Maharashtra. The state saw record production of the cereal due to good monsoon.
However, the glut led to fall in prices of tur, adversely affecting cultivators. A delay in opening procurement centres further worsened farmers' condition.
A few days back, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had admitted gross mismanagement in tur procurement.
Fadnavis managed to get an extension from the Union government to keep procurement centres open till May-end which came as a relief to the BJP, which was under attack from allies and opposition over tur procurement.
"If someone is buying a produce at lower rate than the state defined price, then 25 percent of the total volume is procured by the state government. It is a common and traditional intervention by the state machinery to stabilise the market prices and avoid losses of cultivators.
"The state government not only purchased 4 lakh tonne tur but also increased its quota by additional procurement of one lakh tonne... still some complain," he said.
"We have also given Rs 400 per quintal subsidy to farmers which is happening for the first time. One must stop complaining and start spreading the good work done by the BJP government," Danve said.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress reacted sharply to the BJP leader's comments.
Maharashtra Congress president Ashok Chavan said farmers will teach the ruling BJP a lesson for its "arrogance of power".
"Farmers will teach these people a lesson," the former chief minister said.
Despite assurances of additional tur procurement by the chief minister, purchase centres are yet to start functioning at many places, Chavan alleged.
Updated Date: May 11, 2017 08:21 AM