Maharashtra Assembly: Parties united in farmer loan waiver demand; to cost state Rs 22,000 cr

Following a second day of protests by a united Opposition front against the BJP government, demanding loan waivers for farmers in Maharashtra, an all-party meet was held on Thursday to consolidate the attack.

Following the meet, both the Lower and Upper House of the Maharashtra Legislature saw a third consecutive day of protests and were adjourned on Friday as Congress, NCP, ally Shiv Sena and even some of the ruling BJP's own MLAs joined in on the protest.

Acting on directions of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, party MLAs and MLCs had launched a fresh attack on BJP and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Uddhav Thackeray (left) and Devendra Fadnavis sparred over farmers loan waiver.

File image of Uddhav Thackeray (left) and Devendra Fadnavis.

A loan waiver of this scale could add to the financial burdens of Maharashtra, already under an estimated Rs two lakh crore debt. It could add a burden of as much as Rs 22,000 crore on the state exchequer, an estimate prepared by cooperation department revealed.

Speaking to Firstpost, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan pointed out that Fadnavis had earlier said that BJP will not be giving any loan waivers and would rather explore alternative solutions to reduce farmer suicides.

"If Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given assurances to farmers in Uttar Pradesh for loan waiver, then why not in Maharashtra? This exposes the double standard of BJP and Fadnavis," he said.

"Earlier in the UPA regime, Manmohan Singh had approved Rs 72,000 crore across the country as farmer aid," he added.

Under the Fadnavis government, in the last 30 months, more than 8,000 farmers have committed suicide. In the last one year alone, 3,052 farmers have ended their lives due to debt.

On Wednesday, former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had launched an attack on the BJP government. Joining the attack, Shiv Sena launched an aggressive attack on the government.

Sena members displayed placards and raised slogans during their protests on Thursday, warning Fadnavis and his government to release a full waiver for the farmers.

Meanwhile, Fadnavis was not present in the Assembly but called for an urgent meeting later in the evening to resolve the issue.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 10, 2017 15:42 PM

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