Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis promised to implement what he termed as the “biggest” farm loan waiver in the state’s history by October 31, as the state-wide farmers strike entered its sixth day on Tuesday. “We will be writing off the loans of all deserving and needy farmers. For this we shall make use of IT-based technology. It will be the biggest farm loan waiver in history,” Fadnavis told media persons this afternoon. Seeking to justify the “delay” – as alleged by farmers – he said the state government needs four months for identifying the needy and deserving beneficiaries. In the past, there were irregularities in the loan waiver schemes, and to avoid that the government will take the help of IT-based technology this time, he said.
Referring to the six-day long strike, Fadnavis said the government is “prepared for negotiations” with the genuine farmers leaders, not with those who are firing from the shoulders of the farmers for politics. Dismissing the claims of success of the farmers strike and Monday’s shutdown, Fadnavis said: “Of the 307 APMC’s, 300 were working, three were on strike, and four had their weekly off yesterday. I have complete details of the people behind the violence in different areas and the (political) parties to which they belong.”
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Maharashtra has witnessed, since June 1, the first ever “strike” by several lakhs of farmers who have secured support of ruling allies Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana. Besides, the opposition parties like the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Leftist parties and 35 major trade unions, various NGOs, lawyers and other groups have also supported and joined the farmers agitation.