Opposition attacks Maharashtra govt on farmer suicides, crop failure

Opposition Congress and NCP in Maharashtra Tuesday launched a blistering attack on the Devendra Fadnavis government, accusing it of failing to provide relief to farmers reeling under debt and crop failure due to drought, unseasonal rains and hailstorm.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 10, 2015, 17:31 PM IST

Mumbai: Opposition Congress and NCP in Maharashtra Tuesday launched a blistering attack on the Devendra Fadnavis government, accusing it of failing to provide relief to farmers reeling under debt and crop failure due to drought, unseasonal rains and hailstorm.

They demanded a complete loan waiver and compensation of Rs 25,000 per hectare.

Speaking on a debate initiated by BJP's Sanjay Kute on hailstorm, unseasonal rains in late last year and recently last month, and relief measures provided by the government, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said instead of loan restructuring, the government should give complete loan waiver to the farmers.

"It is reported that the government plans to go for a 29 per cent raise in electricity tariff. We demand that there should be no power tariff hike and government should not rub salt on wounds of the farmers in this manner," Patil said.

He said keeping in view the climatic changes, steps should be taken to change the parameters of Rabi and Kharif seasons.

Patil said food grain procurement centres have been shut and it was expected that the government will provide a fair minimum support price for crops to farmers as the BJP had been demanding while they were in opposition.

He also said that while in opposition, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar had demanded that the erstwhile government be booked under Section 302 of IPC (murder) for farmers' suicides.

"What is his stand now as (farmer) suicides are still continuing," he said.

To this, Mungantiwar said that he had checked with the Home Ministry, which clarified that no such case can be filed.