Shiv Sena opposes govt's banana-wine promotion proposal

Mumbai: Shiv Sena leader and Member of Legislative Council Neelam Gorhe today objected to the state government's announcement that it would promote wine manufacturing from banana and other fruits apart from grapes.

Replying on motion to grant supplementary demands, Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse of BJP said in the Legislative Council that Maharashtra government had decided to promote manufacturing of wine from banana and other fruits.

"Many farmers cultivate grapes which are then used to manufacture wine. These farmers need to be given an alternative. The state will allocate Rs 7 crore for such businesses," Khadse said.

To this, MLC Gorhe said, "I fear that by doing this, our progressive Maharashtra will turn into 'Madya'rashtra (wine state)."

"Thousands of hectares of land with crops have been ruined due to hailstorms and unseasonal rains. At a time when there is bound to be a huge shortfall of foodgrains, it is intolerable for a minister to announce using of crops to make wine," Gorhe said.

However, Khadse said that NCP chief Sharad Pawar (when in government) had promoted the wine industry in the state and he was only following this policy.

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