Mumbai (The Hindu): The opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the ruling Shiv Sena met the Governor and the Chief Minister respectively on Tuesday and demanded a special session of the Assembly to discuss the farm loan waiver issue.
Sena leader and Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam said, “Farm loan waiver is the first issue that needs to be discussed. Unseasonal rains and hailstorms are also plaguing farmers. We have urged the Chief Minister for a special Assembly session to discuss farmers’ issues. The Chief Minister was positive about ensuring justice for farmers.”
‘Extend 3-day session’
Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Minister Eknath Shinde said the delegation demanded that the special three-day session of the State legislature, which was called to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill between May 20 and 22, be extended by two days to discuss the issue.
Earlier in the day, the Congress-NCP delegation held a meeting with Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao and demanded a special Assembly session so that the government could announce a farm loan waiver. “We urged the Governor to convene a special session by issuing directives to the government,” said Dhananjay Munde, NCP leader and Leader of Opposition in the State Council.
Both parties accused the ruling Shiv Sena of being a chameleon. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said, “The Opposition had boycotted the budget session after 19 of its MLAs were suspended. We were aggressive on the issue of farm loan waiver from day one. Why did Shiv Sena keep quiet and why didn’t they get the government to announce a loan waiver?” He said the Shiv Sena changed its stand ahead of the budget presentation after the Chief Minister took them to Delhi.
Farmers demand relief
Meanwhile, farmers’ organisation, Baliraja Shetkari Sanghtana, held a demonstration in front of the Mantralaya demanding a farm loan waiver. The protesters tried to enter the main building and threw onions and tur dal at the entrance.
Sanjay Patil-Ghatnekar, president of the organisation, said their demands included a farm loan waiver and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission. “The untimely rains and hailstorm have damaged the standing crop for which compensation should be given,” said Mr. Patil-Ghatnekar.
State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the government would convene a meeting of the Cabinet to decide on the compensation amount to be provided to farmers affected by hailstorms. “Farmers affected by natural calamities have always been provided relief. This time too the government is positive over the issue,” he said.
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