A day after the BJP-led Maharashtra government unveiled a mega Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme, its ally the Shiv Sena again sounded a discordant note, saying it was not useful at all. Kick-starting the party’s Shetkari Samwad Yatra (farmer outreach campaign) at Pimpalgaon in Nashik district, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, “The government has decided to waive outstanding loans up to June 30 last year.
“In reality, the need was to waive the outstanding loans up to June this year. So, this loan waiver is not helping the farmers at all,” he said, but asserted that the decision to grant loan waiver is a victory of farmers’ struggle. Marathwada region farmers may rejoice over the decision, but those from Nashik, where the real battle for loan waiver started, are still not getting any relief, Thackeray said, adding, “If farmers are to benefit, the recommendations of Swaminathan commission should be implemented.”
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The Shiv Sena, though a part of the ruling coalition, had backed the farmers’ agitation for loan waiver in Maharashtra earlier this month. “I will also personally look into the issue of criminal charges registered against agitating farmers. I will ensure that these charges are dropped,” Thackeray said. According to the state government, the loan waiver scheme will benefit 89 lakh farmers.