Mocking at the claim made by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that farmers in Maharashtra will get only Rs 5,000 crore under a loan waiver scheme, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said he is ready to give that amount to him and challenged him to write off their debt. Agriculturists might get only Rs 5,000 crore from the Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver announced by the BJP-led government in Maharashtra in June, Gandhi alleged. The Congress leader was in the state today to engage with farmers and launch his party’s campaign for the upcoming polls to the Nanded Municipal Corporation. The BJP-led government works for only 50-60 big industrialists and is not bothered about the plight of farmers, the Congress MP claimed in Nanded.
“The Rs 34,000 crore loan waiver announced by the government is only a Rs 5,000 crore loan waiver in reality,” he said and claimed that around 9,000 farmers have ended their lives in the state in the past three years. When reporters sought a reaction to the charges made by Gandhi, Chief Minister Fadnavis said, “The state is facing this (agrarian) crisis because of the (erstwhile) Congress government. They were in power for 10 years (2004-2014) at the Centre and 15 years in Maharashtra (1999-2014) and yet the state is facing this problem.”
“As far as farm loan waiver is concerned, I will give Rs 5,000 crore to Gandhi tomorrow itself and then let him show us how he can waive the farm loans,” Fadnavis said. He said both the Centre and the state governments are taking various initiatives to prevent farmer suicides. “We have undertaken various projects, including the river interlinking and irrigation projects, to ensure there is ample water in the state and farmers don’t have to commit suicide,” Fadnavis added.