Maharashtra agriculture minister Eknath Khadse has refuted the editorial that appeared in the Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana on Tuesday, questioning the claims made by the state government that it had asked for a package from the Centre to help farmers in the state.
The editorial, which is said to carry the views of Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, referred to an answer given by Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh to Sena MP Anil Desai, saying no memorandum had come from the state government for the same.
“While in the parliament it was said no memorandum has come from the state, Eknath Khadse tried said something else. Who is lying and playing with the lives of farmers? Cases of farmer suicides are increasing,” the editorial said.
Responding to these allegations, Khadse said, “We had sent the memorandum, in which we asked for a Rs 6000 crore package. A Central team came to Maharashtra and inspected the affected areas, after we made the demand,” Khadse said.
Explaining the confusion over whether a memorandum had been received, he added that the question from Desai went to the agriculture department in the Centre 40 days before it was placed in parliament. While the answer had been typed out in the answer booklet, it did not come up for discussion during question hour, as a result of which the minister could not update the response.
“The question was not discussed in the question hour, or else the minister would have clarified. Our memorandum went to them after the question went in to the Parliament,” Khadse said.