NCP to stage protests if Maharashtra government does not waive farm loans by Oct 1
Maharashtra NCP chief Sunil Tatkare said farmers were frustrated as their plight remained the same, despite repeated announcements by the governmentmumbai Updated: Sep 05, 2017 00:33 IST
Despite the state announcing a Rs34,022-crore loan waiver, it may have to contend with more farm-related protests soon. On Monday, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) threatened to start a statewide agitation against the BJP-led state government if farmers’ loans are not waived before October 1.
State NCP chief Sunil Tatkare said farmers were frustrated as their plight remained the same, despite repeated announcements by the state. “We want farmers’ loans to be waived before October 1. They are already distressed over the falling agricultural produce and decreased rainfall. If the state does not act, we will stage a statewide agitation,” Tatkare said.
Currently, 51 lakh farmers have applied for loan waivers online. The NCP wants the government to disclose how many were found eligible for benefits and how many will be left out.
The steering committee of the farmers outfits has given the state government a deadline of September 26 to accept their demands of a blanket loan waiver and implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations. The committee will hold a farmers’ council on September 26 in Jalgaon, north Maharashtra, during which they will decide what course of action to take if their demands are not met.
“Lakhs of farmers will be excluded from the benefits of the waiver, owing to stringent provisions imposed by the state. We also want the state to implement the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission report, which suggests double the input cost as minimum support price for farmers,’’ said Ajit Nawale, coordinator of the steering committee.
Farmers’ issues have gained political currency in the state owing to their unprecedented strike and the ensuing loan waiver package announced by the Fadnavis-led government.
Rahul Gandhi to hold rallies in Marathwada, speak about farmer suicides, demonetisation
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will be in Marathwada on Friday to lead his party’s protests against the state government over the agrarian crisis and farmer suicides, said state party chief Ashok Chavan on Monday.
Gandhi will address two rallies in Latur and Parbhani on September 8. He is expected to speak about the agrarian crisis and the Centre’s demonetisation exercise. At 9.30 am, Gandhi will address a rally of the local party workers in Nanded, where the local civic body elections are slated for next month. He will then address a Sangharsh Sabha at Parbhani at 1.30 pm and is expected to talk about the government’s “failure of the government” to address the plight of farmers. So far, 536 farmers from Marathwada have committed suicide in the first seven months of this year.“Rahulji will travel by road from Nanded to Parbhani and meet villagers along the way,” said Chavan.