MUMBAI: Ally Shiv Sena along with opposition Congress and the NCP have condemned Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve-Patil’s anti-farmer remarks which went viral on social media at an inauguration on Thursday.
“Ek lakh tanachy kharedilla parvangi dili ata punha parva. Tari Radtat Saalain…,” (The government has recently cleared a proposal to purchase one lakh tonne of Tur. But, still they (farmers) cry) Danve-Patil said while addressing party workers at an inauguration on Wednesday evening.
Danve-Patil was inaugurating party colleague and minister for water supply and sanitation, Babanrao Lonikar’s office at Jalna, and said this while elaborating on the State government’s measures taken for farmers’ benefit.
The opposition condemned Danve-Patil’s statement saying the power has gone to his head. “This is nothing but sheer arrogance. Power has gone to their heads. By abusing farmers, Danve has added insult to their injury,” said State Congress president Ashok Chavan.
Leader of opposition in the State assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, demanded that the BJP clarify its stand over Danve-Patil’s statement.
The Shiv Sena had condemned Danve-Patil in the editorial of party mouthpiece Saamana on Wednesday for his earlier remarks where he had sought a written guarantee from the opposition that loan waivers would stop farmers’ suicides.
Asking for a guarantee is equivalent to making fun of their plight, the Shiv Sena editorial said.
“Question now is whether there is somebody behind Danve who is stinging the chief minister with his comments. It is the government’s responsibility to make sure farmers live. But the State has become a cemetery for farmers,” the editorial added.
Shiv Sena hit the streets at several places in Marathwada to protest Danve-Patil's statement. The party's Dombiwali unit conducted a protest march on Thursday.
In Osamanabad protesters set ablaze the effigy of the BJP state president. the cops, however, took a few agitators into custody.
Protests have also been reported in Paithan, Parbhani and Satara in Maharashtra.
Danve-Patil apologized for his remarks in a statement issued on Thursday evening. "I was addressing party workers and the words were for some of my close party associates whom I know for a long time. They were not meant for the farmers. However, if I've heart anybody's sentiments, I apologize for that," said Danve-Patil.
NCP President Sharad Pawar criticised Danve-Patil in an unusual way. "The opposition leaders are demanding Danve-Patil's resignation. But, I'd suggest that they let Danve-Patil head the State BJP. His staying there would ultimately help the opposition," Pawar said while speaking at a NCP worker's meet here.
Shiv Sena was aggressive in condemning Danve-Patil across the state as Nashik, Yavatmal, Pandharpur and Pen witnessed fierce agitation.