Maharashtra Opposition to launch Sangharsh Yatra over farm loan waiver on March 29

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Mumbai | Published: March 27, 2017 8:29:58 PM

Opposition Congress and NCP in Maharashtra will embark on a week-long 'Sangharsh Yatra' from Nagpur on Wednesday to express solidarity with farmers over the demand of loan waiver.

NCP, Maharashtra, Congress, Sangharsh Yatra, BJPAll the opposition MLAs, including those belonging to the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will participate in the ?Sangharsh Yatra?.(PTI)

Opposition Congress and NCP in Maharashtra will embark on a week-long ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ from Nagpur on Wednesday to express solidarity with farmers over the demand of loan waiver. All the opposition MLAs, including those belonging to the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) will participate in the ‘Sangharsh Yatra’.

The leaders and MLAs of the opposition in the state legislative assembly will travel from Nagpur to Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Wardha, Butibori (near Nagpur), Amravati, Hingoli, Parbhani, Jalna, Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Solapur, Pandharpur and Pune. The yatra will conclude with a public meeting at Panvel on April 4.

The schedule includes interactions with farmers’ groups, meeting kin of farmers who have committed suicide and public meetings. Congress spokesman Ratnakar Mahajan said the motive behind the Yatra was to explain the rationale behind the demand for loan waiver.

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“We will highlight how the Rs 72,000 crore loan waiver by the Manmohan Singh Government had helped farmers to tide over the crisis of drought. This year, there have been good rains resulting in good harvest. But, the farmers have not become financially stable due to the previous two years of drought,” he said.

“Loan waiver as a short-term measure to help them mitigate the crisis is the need of the hour. Devendra Fadnavis government says it will announce a loan waiver at an appropriate time. When will the appropriate time come? Few months before the 2019 assembly polls?,” he asked.

Mahajan accused the BJP-led state government of pointing fingers at the Centre for financial assistance, while the latter says farm loan waiver has to be decided by the state. “This is deception of farmers,” he said. Nineteen Opposition MLAs from the Congress and the NCP were suspended last week from the Assembly for nine months for creating ruckus during the Budget presentation in the House.

The Congress leader lashed out at the government for saying that burning of budget papers was unconstitutional.

“This is the first time that a new interpretation of the Constitution has come up,” he said.

“This was not for the first time that a budget presentation has been disrupted. There are precedents where BJP has done so. Of course that does not mean Congress should also act in the same manner,” he said.

“Suspension is a revengeful attitude borne out of majority in the lower house. You suspend 19 MLAs at one time and why should revoking be done in instalments?” he asked referring to the government’s proposal to revoke suspension of MLAs, who were shouting slogans on Wednesday, while those whose had burnt budget papers and showed placards and banners, at the end of the session.

Reacting to BJP’s charge that the opposition had resorted to disrupting the proceedings because of their defeat in the recent civic polls, Mahajan said the strength of Congress and NCP, together in the Zilla Parishad and panchayat samitis, was more than BJP and Shiv Sena.

He admitted that for the ZP president’s post, non-ideological alliances did take place which was borne out of local factors and compulsions.

Meanwhile, the deadlock over opposition members’ participation in the budget session proceedings from Wednesday is likely to continue since all opposition members will be travelling with the Sangharsh Yatra till April 4. The session ends on April 7.

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