Onion export ban: Political parties, farmers organisations in Maharashtra oppose moveUpdated: Sep 16, 2020 23:38 IST
The Centre’s decision to ban the export of onions has turned controversial in Maharashtra as many political parties, as well as farmers organisations, have opposed the move.
State Congress unit staged a statewide protest against the ban while senior NCP leader and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has criticised the Centre’s decision as “anti-farmer”. A delegation of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government headed by the NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also going to Delhi to request the Centre to withdraw its decision. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has also decided to write a letter to the Centre demanding them to take back the decision.
Even, the state BJP unit, opposition in the state, has urged the Centre to reverse it back. Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has written a letter to the Union minister for commerce and industry Piyush Goyal requesting him to withdraw the decision immediately.
On Monday, the Central government issued a notification and prohibited the export of onions. It has clarified that the decision was taken to control the rising prices of the commodity. The move doesn’t go well within the agrarian community especially in Maharashtra.
On Wednesday, Congress leaders staged protests across districts and expressed their resentment. Party workers gathered at district headquarters to register their opposition. State Congress president and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat termed the move as “injustice to the farmers”. “The decision is an injustice to the farmers. We want the Centre to reverse it immediately and hence decided to mark our protest across the state,” he said.
Ajit Pawar said, “The move is no less than enormity with the farmers as they were already in trouble due to Covid-19 pandemic and this will add to their miseries.”
The issue was discussed in the state cabinet meeting on Wednesday. State agriculture minister Dada Bhuse said that the decision has led to a sharp decline in onion prices in markets that will cost huge losses to the farmers. “We have decided that a delegation headed by the NCP chief will meet the concerned central ministers and urge them to withdraw the notification,” the agriculture minister said after the cabinet meeting.
Fadnavis in his letter states, “The onions produced in Maharashtra have good demand in the international market which helps them to get proper remuneration against the produce. They are hurt and unhappy with the decision. I request you reconsider it.”
On Tuesday, Pawar had opposed the move and met Goyal in this regard. He has said that the ban on the export of onions would immensely benefit the exporters from Pakistan. The sudden decision is a major blow to India’s image as a reliable exporter of onions in the international market, he added.