MUMBAI: Both the Houses in Maharashtra legislature were adjourned again as the Opposition continued to disrupt proceedings over their demand for crop loan waiver for farmers. Interestingly, not only BJP’s ally Shiv Sena, even a few BJP members too joined the Opposition in the demand.
The chaos started when leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil tried to move a proposal for debate over loan waver under rule 57 as soon as Speaker Haribhau Bagde called for question hour. This time, Shiv Sena members, who had kept themselves away from the action the day before, were well-prepared. They marched into the well and shouted slogans even as Opposition Congress and NCP members stood protesting against the Speakers' decision.
Some BJP members too started shouting slogans in favour of loan waiver, forcing the Speaker to announce an adjournment. After two more short-term adjournments, more chaotic scenes were witnessed with Shiv Sena members unfurling banners with slogans favouring loan waiver. Finally, the House had to be adjourned for the day.
Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde argued that in the last two years, more than 9,000 farmers in the state committed suicide due to rising debt and held the government's agriculture policy responsible for the agrarian crisis.
Taking part in the debate, senior Shiv Sena MLC Dr Neelam Gorhe stated that the BJP had given an assurance of loan waiver for farmers during the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. She wanted to know what sin had the farmers of Maharashtra committed to be denied of the same. She added that there was no political motive behind the Sena demanding complete loan waiver for farmers.
Trying to defend the government’s stance, minister for finance Sudhir Mungantiwar stated that the issue was a sensitive one and its scope went beyond the realm of politics. He said that the government had plans to increase the agriculture production by 2022.