Maharashtra agriculture crisis: NCP chief Sharad Pawar dubs CM Devendra Fadnavis’ allegations as “childish”

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Mumbai | Published: June 4, 2017 12:48:10 PM

Fadnavis had yesterday announced the "biggest- ever" farm loan waiver amid the statewide agitation by cultivators who stalled movement of vegetables and milk over their demands.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra, Maharashtra farmers strike, CM Devendra Fadnavis, farmers loan waiverNCP chief Sharad Pawar. (PTI)

The farmers’ stir took place as the Fadnavis government had “fallen asleep”, NCP chief Sharad Pawar has said, dubbing as childish the chief minister’s allegation that some people wanted to create a situation of anarchy in Maharashtra by using farmers. Devendra Fadnavis had yesterday announced the “biggest- ever” farm loan waiver amid the statewide agitation by cultivators who stalled movement of vegetables and milk over their demands.

As some sections of protesting agriculturists refused to call off the agitation, Fadnavis, without naming the Opposition Congress and NCP, alleged that “some people are trying to create anarchy in the state” by using farmers. Reacting to it, Pawar said, “None of the political parties have taken part in the strike called by farmers. The chief minister’s allegations are childish. This is a strike of farmers and led by their representatives only.”

“There is no point in giving a political colour to their agitation. Doing so does not suit the chief minister’s post,” Pawar said in Ratnagiri late last evening. He also said that, “The strike has taken place only because the government had fallen asleep.”

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“The chief minister has tried to create a rift between farmers to stop the strike,” Pawar alleged. Fadnavis yesterday said that the government will waive loans of farmers with small land-holding, and 80 per cent of such farmers in Vidarbha and Marathwada will benefit.

“We have announced the biggest-ever loan waiver for farmers, much more than what had been given by the previous government,” he said. Fadnavis said a committee will be formed to decide the details of loan waiver and it will ensure that needy farmers are not left out while wrong persons do not benefit, which happened in earlier loan waivers. The committee will have representatives of farmers too.

While the chief minister agreed to grant the main demand of farmers, which was loan waiver, it emerged yesterday that there was no consensus among their leaders about calling off the protest, which continued in many places, blocking supply of milk and vegetables leading to their prices soaring in cities, including Mumbai.

Also, at least 113 farmers were held during the protests across the state for resorting to violent methods like damaging public property, arson, etc, police earlier said.

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