MUMBAI: While the BJP patted its back terming the loan waiver announced by them as “bold, courageous and historic,” and Shiv Sena supporting them, the opposition Congress and NCP slammed the government for the undue delay in announcing the decision, though their aggressive stand appeared to have considerably softened.
Leader of opposition in the legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil opposed the motion moved by BJP MLA Anil Bonde to congratulate the government for the waiver and criticised the decisions. It is not at all historic. But, it has brought shame to the state as it did not make justice to the farmers,” he said.
“The government intends to keep the number of beneficiaries as low as possible and hence they have created all hurdles of several conditions and are making farmers to fill forms online,” he alleged.
Former deputy chief minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar termed the government scheme as “Loan recovery scheme” instead of loan waiver scheme. “Instead of waiving off loans the government wants to recover them under the pretext of one-time settlement,” he said. The government needs to waive off loans of individual account holders instead of considering family as a unit for that, he said.
In the Legislative Council, general secretary of state BJP MLC Sujitsingh Thakur moved the motion. He argued that in the last two and half years the government has invested Rs 40,000 crore in the agriculture sector to make farmers self-reliant. He slammed the previous Congress-NCP government accusing it of making the farmer dependent on the state and forcing the farmer to commit suicides.
The debate was briefly adjourned for 30 minutes as the opposition raised an objection to the absence of bureaucrats and officials in the officer's gallery.
Leading the opposition in legislative council, Dhananjay Munde accused the government of not being serious on the issue of loan waiver. He sarcastically remarked that not a Rupee has reached the indebted farmer and the government has splurged Rs 36 lakh on advertisement blitz on its decision.
Sena MLCs Anil Parab and Dr Neelam Gorhe supported the motion though their party has slammed the government and even threatened to walk out of the government over the issue. Terming the loan waiver as a “good step”, Parab justified Sena's aggressive stand as a way to ensure that the farmers are not left to fend for themselves in their hour of crisis. Both Parab and Gorhe demanded that the government extend the deadline till March 31, 2017, for availing loan waiver to all those farmers who have had debt burden.