Heartening to see Sharad Pawar being a good opponent, says BJP

Mumbai: The BJP today took a jibe at NCP chief Sharad Pawar for seeking relief for farmers affected by drought and said it was heartening to see that Pawar is being a good opponent.

"Sharad Pawar is in the opposition now and doing what an opposition party should be doing. Even we (BJP) had done the same thing when we were in opposition. It is heartening to see that he (Pawar) is being a good opponent," BJP leader and state Revenue minister Eknath Khadse told reporters here.

The NCP supremo today met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking relief for farmers and the party has threatened to hit the streets if its demands are not fulfilled.

"In the last 6 months, we have done everything we could to give relief to farmers. We have started numerous schemes that will benefit them not only in the short run but in the long term as well. We are looking at long term solutions," Khase said.

The minister said the Congress and NCP, while in power, had waived off the loans taken by farmers, their electricity bills, and interest money being paid to moneylenders, but suicides did not stop.

"What we need to do is to find a permanent solution, which cannot happen overnight. 'Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan' (Integrated water conservation and management scheme) is one of them. Along with this, we need to develop alternate source of livelihood for farmers like rearing cattle," he added.

"Providing subsidies for growing fruits can be another alternative. Our aim is to make them financially independent," Khadse said.

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