Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde today accused the Maharashtra government of shirking its responsibility when farmers are committing suicide in Marathwada region that is staring at a “massive drought”. The continuing dry spell in Marathwada, which had witnessed droughts during three consecutive years between 2012 to 2015, has become a cause of concern. “Farmers are staring at a massive drought this year as well, as Marathwada has not received even a drop of water in the last 48 days. The government is sleeping while farmers are committing suicide,” the leader of opposition in Legislative Council said in a statement issued here.
Munde said 34 farmers have committed suicide in Marathwada in the last eight days. “A total of 580 farmers have committed suicide during January 1 to August 13 this year,” the NCP leader said, quoting the figures from the Aurangabad Divisional Commissioner’s office.
Accusing the BJP-led NDA government of doing a lip service to the cause of farmers, Munde said while the government was busy figuring out whom to provide benefits of the loan waiver, not a single rupee has been given to farmers since the loan waiver was announced. “The government has lost the trust of farmers,” he claimed. Following strident protests by farmers in the state, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the Rs 34,022 crore loan waiver in June.
Munde blamed online mode of application for the difficulty the farmers is facing while enrolling themselves for the loan waiver. He demanded the government declare whole of Marathwada drought-hit and make the online application process simpler for farmers.
Meanwhile, as per the data released by state Cooperation Minister Subhash Deshmukh, 1,11,000 farmers have applied for the loan waiver scheme online uptil now. “The online application process is on since July 24. Uptil August 16, 12,38,000 farmers have enrolled for the loan waiver scheme, while 1,11,000 have actually applied,” the minister said in a statement.
Deshmukh said the loan waiver applications are being filled at the total 26,000 centres across the state. “These centres will remain functional till all the farmers apply for the scheme. From the last one week, around 1 lakh to 1.25 lakh farmers have been filing their applications everyday,” the minister stated.