Slamming Maharashtra BJP chief Raosaheb Danve for seeking a guarantee from Opposition that loan waiver will stop suicide by farmers, ruling ally Shiv Sena today said it showed he 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 Opposition NCP and Congress had last month organised a statewide ‘sangharsh yatra’ campaign seeking farm loan waiver. The Sena too supported the demand. “Danve made the comments while he was on a trip to Shirdi. This shows how much reverence he has for farmers,” quipped an editorial in Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.
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“Loan waiver is not a permanent solution but it is an immediate help that should be given to ensure that farmers live, it said. The Sena also said that asking for a guarantee is equivalent to making fun of the plight of farmers. “Questions are now being raised if there is somebody behind Danve who is stinging the Chief Minister with his comments. It is the responsibility of the government to make sure farmers live. But the state has become a cemetery for farmers,” it charged.
The Sena claimed that 4,000 farmers have committed suicide in the state in last two years. It said farmers take debt to grow crops, which are at times destroyed by unseasonal rains, hailstorm or drought. Even if the natural conditions are favourable, they do not get the minimum support price, which results in the farmers dumping their produce in protest of the government’s farm policies, the editorial said.
Recently, a group of farmers dumped tur dal, bananas and onions at the gate of the state secretariat here to highlight the problems being faced by agriculturists. The Sena said if a farmer commits suicide to get out of this circle, it is the failure of the government. “These are the people who will not come forward to offer a glass of water to a dying farmer, but will seek their votes. On the contrary, they will ask for a guarantee that the farmer won’t die if offered a glass of water,” it taunted.