Maharashtra Congress demands farm loans waiver
The Congress' Maharashtra unit on Saturday demanded a waiver of all farm loans on the lines of the assurance given by the BJP in poll-bound Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
In a memorandum to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee General Secretary and spokesman Sachin Sawant said it was surprising and shocking that in its poll manifesto for Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party had promised farm loans waiver.
"In the 2014 elections in Maharashtra, the BJP had made a similar promise and assured it would not allow a single farmer's suicide as part of its Vision 20-20. After two years, the picture has worsened and this state ranks among the worst in the country in terms of farmland suicides," Sawant said.
Not only has the number of suicides shot up, and even Osmanabad which was declared as a "zero suicide district" has reported more than 170 farmers ending their lives between August 2015-August 2016, he added.
He accused the government of completely ignoring the plight of the farmers who have been battered by successive periods of natural calamities like droughts, floods, unseasonal rains and hailstorms.
Sawant said Maharashtra has the highest number of farmland suicides compared to Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, but this state is also economically stronger.
"Despite this, the state government has ignored repeated pleas by the Congress to announce a complete farm loans waiver. However, with an eye on the ongoing elections, the BJP has promised to write of farm loans in Punjab and UP, but not in Maharashtra," he said, urging Fadnavis to immediately declare farm loans waiver for Maharashtra as assured before the 2014 elections.