Fadnavis deputes senior ministers to discuss farm loan waiver with Uddhav
Mumbai city news: Taking Uddhav Thackeray into confidence to find a solution to the crisis has been a primary demand of Sena ministers, who even skipped a recent cabinet meeting to make their pointmumbai Updated: Jun 19, 2017 00:00 IST
In an attempt to woo the Shiv Sena, which has been dropping veiled threats of pulling out of the state government over the issue of agitating farmers, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday deputed senior BJP ministers to brief Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray about the modalities of the promised farm loan waiver.
Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil and cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh met Thackeray at Matoshree, his residence in Bandra, along with Sena ministers.
Sena minister Diwakar Raote, in charge of the state transport department, said, “The Sena chief understood the facts and figures surrounding the farm loan waiver. Our demand was that farmers in Maharashtra should get a complete loan waiver. Seems like the government is moving in that direction.” He said the government-appointed ministerial committee will now work out the parameters of the farm loan waiver, and then come back to Thackeray with the information.
“The Sena chief will give his suggestions and clarify the party’s stand on the implementation at that time. Today’s meeting was to just understand the basic statistics involving the loan waiver and where the situation currently stands,” said Raote, who addressed the press jointly with Patil after the meeting.
The state was rocked by farmers’ protests from June 1 with demands of a loan waiver and a minimum support price. Sena backed the agitation, bitterly criticising the BJP-led government in which it is a junior partner, taking to the streets in protest. Taking Thackeray into confidence and accommodating his opinions in finding a solution to the crisis was also a primary demand of the Sena ministers, who even skipped a cabinet meeting to make their point.
Even as the Fadnavis government attempted to quash protests by promising loan waivers for small and marginal farmers initially by October 31, the Sena kept insisting on a complete and immediate loan waiver for all farmers in the state.
When the government recently gave in to farmers’ demands for a complete loan waiver, the Sena jumped in to take credit. Sena leaders put up posters outside the BJP office thanking Thackeray for his perseverance in the farmers’ agitation that ultimately helped get their demands sanctioned.
On Tuesday, Thackeray greeted leaders from the Kisan Kranti Jan Andolan and farmers from Puntamba, a market town in the Ahmednagar district, which was initially the epicentre of the agitation, at his residence. He said the Sena is more concerned about the implementation of the government’s promises and hopes there is no situation when the Sena has to fight again, and if there is, then the party will not think twice about being in power.