Sena president Uddhav Thackeray yesterday offered to quit the government and support the BJP, if it writes off farmers' loans. File pic
The Sena threw down a tempting gauntlet before the BJP yesterday. Its president, Uddhav Thackeray, challenged its ruling partner to write off farmers' loans in exchange for absolute support to the government.
"Why are you thinking of mid-term polls and surveying who will get how many votes? Is it for getting absolute power? If so, then let me tell you that I'm not interested in power. I declare that we will quit government if you give farmers much-needed relief. We will support you (the BJP) from the outside. We will not allow the BJP government to collapse," Thackeray said at a farmers' rally in Nasik.
He said the BJP government in the state has failed to bring any change despite being in power for two-and-a-half years. "The CM used to seek farm loan waiver when he was in the opposition, but he is now changed into a student [who is studying the proposal]. The government changed, but there are no solutions to problems," he said.
He said the BJP had promised citizens to bring back black money and deposit R15 lakh each in their bank accounts. "But, there is no trace of black money in our accounts. Either you give farmers R15 lakh each or waive their loans," he said.
Thackeray admitted that a loan waiver may be a temporary solution, but asserted that it would still be a huge help. "We can think of the future when the time comes."
He slammed state BJP president Raosaheb Danve for "abusing" farmers last week. "Red beacons are gone, but the sense of power [they carried] still rule their minds. Danve's utterance made me very angry. I'm sure that the farmers will not spare him and skin him," he said. Danve had stoked a controversy on May 10 by saying farmers continue to complain despite the state government doling out sops to bail out tur growers.
The Sena chief said he did not want to disturb peace in the state. "But, I must warn the government to have a look at the ongoing [agrarian] crisis."
He also demanded an inquiry into the tur purchase scam in the state. "If they expected a bumper tur crop this season, then why did they take the decision to import the commodity? The government should map that superbrain which took this decision."
The leader said his party is opposed to the Mumbai-Nagpur super communications highway. "We will support farmers who don't want to part with their fertile land for this road. The two cities must be brought closer but not at the cost of farmers."