Congress says it won't give up farm loan-waiver demand

Opposition Congress in the Maharashtra Legislative Council on Tuesday said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's statement on the demand of loan-waiver for farmers was misleading, and that it intended to carry on the protest if the demand was not met.

Mumbai: Opposition Congress in the Maharashtra Legislative Council on Tuesday said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's statement on the demand of loan-waiver for farmers was misleading, and that it intended to carry on the protest if the demand was not met.

The House saw some chaotic scenes as opposition MLCs shouted slogans against the government.

In his reply to the debate on the issue, Fadnavis said today that the final objective of relief measure must be to ensure that farmers are free of debt in the long run. He listed out the measures the government intended to take.

He also hit out at Congress-NCP and said their motive behind asking for loan-waiver was dubious.

"I know very well why you are asking for loan-waiver. In your 15 years' rule, you have eaten up the co-operative banks through corruption. Farmers would not have been in this situation had something been done for them in your tenure," Fadnavis said.

After the CM's reply, Congress group leader Manikrao Thakre said Fadnavis's speech was intended to mislead the farmers.

"He (Fadnavis) has given inaccurate figures and has tried to mislead both the Houses. On the top of it, he is trying to create a divide between Vidarbha and Marathwada regions through his speech. This is unacceptable," Thakre said.

"We will continue to protest inside and outside the legislature until the government agrees to a complete loan-waiver for farmers," the Congress leader said.

Following Thakre's statement, the opposition members started shouting slogans against the government and the House was adjourned for the day by chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar.

Thakre told a news agency later that Congress and NCP leaders would be meeting this evening to decide on the strategy for pressing the demand of loan-waiver further in both the Houses. 

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