Mumbai: The Shiv Sena Friday came out in support of the state's farming community amid the shocking report of eight famers committing suicide in Vidarbha, including four a couple of days ago.
It said that the government in the state has changed, but the plight of the farmers continues, and despite a son of the soil Devendra Fadnavis becoming the chief minister, farmers' suicides are unabated.
"He was laying the red carpet in Davos (Switzerland) for foreign investors to Maharashtra, while farmers were busy killing themselves here... Any hopes of relief by the new government to the farmers have been belied," said Shiv Sena, in a strong editorial in the party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
It pointed out that the victims had consumed poison to escape the burden of farm debts - "they did not own mobiles, so nobody can accuse them of having money to pay phone bills and not farm debts."
During elections, the farmers were showered with a flood of promises of good times, but nothing happened thereafter.
"Whose responsibility it is to ensure a dignified life to the farmers of the state? If anybody claims that by separating Vidarbha from Maharashtra, all its problems would be solved, they are misguiding the people," the edit said, hinting at its known stand of a united Maharashtra.
The Sena reminded that the previous (Congress-NCP) regime did not give justice to the farmers who voted en masse for the BJP, but the situation has not changed for the better.
It said NGOs like Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari are agitating against the state government - "What will it achieve? The government proceeds slower than a tortoise when farmers' issues are involved."
"Recently, Maharashtra announced total prohibition in Chandrapur (third district after Wardha and Gadchiroli), banning liquor... It would help the people more if a similar 'ban on suicides' is declared in Vidarbha," the editorial urged.