Frustrated with Shiv Sena's pressure tactics, Devendra Fadnavis threatens to quit

Frustrated with Shiv Sena's pressure tactics, Devendra Fadnavis threatens to quit”

The only thing loan waivers in the past have managed to achieve is that they freed banks of their bad debts, since the government ended up paying off the loans, Fadnavis said. "We need to make an allocation of Rs 30,500 crore if we decide to go in for farm loan waiver".

"Today, 30,500 crore loan by 31 lakh farmers is overdue in Maharashtra. Will the Opposition give the State Government an assurance that once we waive farm loans, the unabated suicide end?"

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday assured the Maharashtra Assembly that a state government delegation will be meeting Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh for assistance in the agriculture sector.

Accusing the opposition of playing politics on such an important and sensitive issue, the Chief Minister said nearly 16,000 farmers committed suicide in spite of the loan waiver in five years.

As soon as the House assembled for the day and the Speaker called for the Question Hour, Shiv Sena legislators entered the Well demanding loan waiver.

He conceded that while a debt-waiver could provide immediate relief to the farmers, the government was investing money and time in measures that ensured farmers are not pushed into a debt-trap. Your are just shedding crocodile tears.

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But it is their 15 years' misgovernance and wrong policies which have landed the farmers in trouble. Shiv Sena legislator Anil Kadam demanded that there be discussions with the centre before the budget is presented in the house on Saturday. Government of Maharashtra gave 2000crore for insurance, 8000 crore as assistance for natural calamities, 1500 crore on various agricultural schemes.

While assuring the House that he would visit Delhi to hold discussions with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh to seek more financial assistance for farmers, Fadnavis said, "The Congress and NCP's protest on loan waiver is pure politics and not really meant to serve the larger interests of the farmers".

Fadnavis said his government was opposed to extending benefit to the banks (which are controlled by Congress and NCP) instead of directly helping farmers in distress.

"After the announcement of loan waiver in 2007 by then Union government, farmers suicides came down by 80%". While going in for farm loan waiver, we will lay emphasis on improving the standard of agriculture in the state.

He asserted that a crop loan waiver will not help stop suicides by farmers. "The State Government is honest about intentions vis-a-vis the farm loan waiver". Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said that Opposition members have been demanding loan waiver since the Budget session began.

Later, Congress Member of Legislative Council Sanjay Dutt said that if the Centre is prepared to bear the burden of farm loans in Uttar Pradesh, why discriminate against Maharashtra farmers.

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