After Adityanath's loan waiver, Fadnavis in Maharashtra draws flak as call for similar action grows

Keeping the poll promise made by BJP, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in his first cabinet meet on Tuesday announced loan waiver of Rs 36,359 crore. This historic decision helps 2.15 crore farmers who have taken a loan of up to Rs 1 lakh. But in the first meet, if Adityanath could waive off farmers loans, why can't Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra fadnavis do the same? This question is being asked by opposition parties as well as Shiv Sena, BJP’s partner in state government.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. PTI

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray issued a statement on Tuesday, in which he congratulated the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for announcing the loan waiver. Uddhav also asked the Maharashtra government to do the same for the farmers in the state.

The pressure on Fadnavis is building. To sort out the issue, Fadnavis has called an urgent meeting with the Assembly speaker, Parliament Affairs Minister, Revenue Minister and other senior ministers of BJP to counter opposition parties' demand of loan waiver. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena ministers and senior MLAs met Fadnavis and asked him for complete loan waiver for farmers. Sena also said that the chief minister should make a statement in the Assembly regarding the loan waiver policy of the government.

After Sena's demand, Fadnavis did in fact make a statement. In the statement, Chief Minister Fadnavis said that the state government is in favour of freeing farmers from the loans, but the waiver would be announced at the right time. "We are looking at all options to provide loan waiver to poor farmers. We are positive about the loan waiver and we will study the loan waiver module of Uttar Pradesh," the chief minister Said. "The earlier loan waiver benefited banks and not the farmer. This government is not interested in extending benefits to banks. We want permanent development of farmers. We asked for help from the Centre. There is no need for court intervention. We are positive but we are searching for the best options for the farmers," said Fadnavis.

The total farm loan waiver will cost the state around Rs 30,500 crore and this will benefit 36 lakh farmers.

Senior NCP leader and former deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar told Firstpost that the government can transfer the money to farmers’ accounts directly instead of giving it to banks. "Our financial condition is good when compared with that of Uttar Pradesh. So, if Uttar Pradesh government announced loan waiver in the first cabinet meet, then why have we been stuck for the last 30 months?" he questioned. Opposition parties have taken an aggressive stand for loan waiver and they held the Sangharsh Yatra which ended on Tuesday. Pawar has given the Fadnavis government a three-day ultimatum to make a decision. If NCP is still not satisfied with the government's actions, the party will not participate in the proceeding of the budget session.

"We will first increase the investment in farming. The waiver will announced at right time," said Finance Minsiter Sudhir Mungantiwar. "Farmers in the state are in loan circles due to many reasons like falling prices of agriculture product, unseasonal rains, hailstorm and water crisis," said Mungantiwar.

The budget session ends on Friday and the Opposition wants the announcement made in the current session. With the UP government’s decision to waive farmers' loans and Madras High Court asking the Tamil Nadu government to do the same, the pressure is building on the BJP-led Maharashtra government to consider the loan waiver.

Updated Date: Apr 05, 2017 13:32 PM

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