Congress threatens to launch agitation against Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve over 'derogatory' remarks

Mumbai: The Congress party has threatened to launch an agitation against Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve's comments on tur dal growers. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan told reporters on Thursday that his party will launch a statewide stir from tomorrow against Danve's "derogatory" comments.

He also demanded an apology from the BJP over Danve's remarks against the farmers.

Raosaheb Danve had stoked a controversy on Wednesday. Image courtesy: Twitter/@raosahebdanve

Raosaheb Danve had stoked a controversy on Wednesday. Image courtesy: Twitter/@raosahebdanve

Danve had stoked a controversy on Wednesday by saying that 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 at Jalna in Marathwada.

Chavan said Danve has insulted the farmers when the government is not procuring the tur produce and also not giving a loan waiver to help them tide over the agrarian crisis resulting out of drought conditions, unseasonal rains and lack of good market price for their produce.

"Important leaders in the ruling party are making irresponsible statements," he said. "This is nothing but sheer arrogance. Power has gone to their heads. By abusing farmers, Danve has added insult to their injury," he said.

Slamming Danve's remarks, Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam said in a tweet, "...he first abused the farmers and cursed then too. This is the true face of BJP. Anti-farmer BJP."

Notably, even ruling ally Shiv Sena had slammed Danve for seeking a guarantee from the opposition that loan waiver will stop suicide by farmers. The Sena said this showed that the state BJP chief has no sympathy for farmers.

Danve, while talking to reporters after visiting Sai Baba temple at Shirdi in Ahmednagar on Monday, asked the opposition to "give in writing" that a loan waiver would stop farmers' suicides in Maharashtra.

The Centre had last year 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 the farmers' condition.

A few days ago, 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. This came as a relief to the BJP, which was under attack from allies and opposition over tur procurement.

Updated Date: May 11, 2017 16:21 PM

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