Congress and Shiv Sena up the ante against Maharashtra government for blanket loan waiver

Mumbai city news: Things, however, took an ugly turn after workers from the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed during the march. Cases have been registered against Congress workers.

mumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2017 11:27 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
mumbai,mumbai city news,maharashtra farmers
Congress began its state-wide protest march calling the loan waiver a sham and based on the exaggerated figures.(HT)

Congress began its next leg of loan waiver protests against the state government in Buldhana on Wednesday.

As part of the protest, farmers signed a petition, which said that they had not got the benefits of the waiver.

Things, however, took an ugly turn after workers from the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) clashed during the march. Cases have been registered against Congress workers.

Congress began its state-wide protest march calling the loan waiver a sham and based on the exaggerated figures. The party claimed that the BJP-led state government was cheating farmers by throwing tall numbers at them, when in reality only 15 lakh farmers will be benefited with Rs5,000 crore. The party also announced that the protests would continue until a blanket loan waiver was announced by the government without capping the amount of the waiver and time period of the loan.

The party also decided to build momentum by holding the protests in districts with distressed farmers ahead of the monsoon session, which is scheduled from July 24.

The Shiv Sena also upped its ante against the government and demanded a blanket waiver. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray met farmers in Jalgaon on Wednesday and assured them that the party would continue to oppose to the government despite being part of it until the farmers became debt-free. He criticised the opposition leaders for not doing their job.

“Shiv Sena members across the state will go from house to house asking farmers their names, the amount of their loans, the banks that loaned them the money and if they have been able to avail of the loan waiver,” said Thackeray.

The Sena chief also reiterated his demand of extending the cut-off date to avail of the waiver to June 2017 from June 2016, saying that farmers had already suffered because of the demonetisation.

In Buldhana, violence broke out after BJP workers tried to block the march. Congress president Ashok Chavan said that the BJP had registered cases against his party workers and even an MLA out of political vendetta. “Our workers were attacked by the hired goons after we exposed government’s fake waiver. One of our workers is in a hospital. False cases have been registered against our workers,” he said.

BJP workers alleged that their Congress counterparts thrashed them. “Congress has no right to protest against us, as the loan waiver they announced in 2008 had only Rs286 crore for five districts, including Buldhana and Rs287 crore for Mumbai alone. Congress leaders involved in the cases like the Adarsh scam have no right to speak against our government,” said BJP’s local MLA Sanjay Kute.

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 10:44 IST