BJP corners MVA government over farm loan waivers

Updated: Feb 25, 2020, 08:24 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Alleges farmers in trouble not getting relief, even as govt tables supplementary demands worth Rs 15,000 cr for implementation of waiver scheme.

BJP MLAs demands relief for farmers outside Vidhan Bhavan on the first day of the budget session on Monday. ic/ Suresh Karkera
BJP MLAs demands relief for farmers outside Vidhan Bhavan on the first day of the budget session on Monday. ic/ Suresh Karkera

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday refuted Devendra Fadnavis's claim of a rift between the MVA partners, and told legislators that the coalition was running smoothly and there was full co-ordination among the members. His comments came even as the budget session started on a stormy note on Monday with a disruptive BJP stalling the proceedings over farmers' loan waivers and rising crimes against women.

Differences on topics like National Population Register (NPR), the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NCR) have created an impression that the MVA is a divided house. Thackeray's back-to-back meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress president Sonia Gandhi last week had created a sense of confusion in the MVA and uncertainty over the alliance's longevity. The CM has reportedly appealed to the MLAs and MLCs to dismiss the BJP's baseless allegations of cracks in the MVA.

'Where's the waiver?'

The BJP accused the tripartite government of not fulfilling assurances made to the farmers in trouble. Leader of Opposition in Assembly Fadnavis demanded a discussion on the issue of farmers "not getting" benefits of the loan waiver.

Before the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress united to form government in the state, the three parties were demanding that farmers get R25,000 to R1 lakh per hectare for crop damage. Fadnavis noted. "There is no clarity on relief to farmers. Only 20,000 farmers are beneficiaries of loan waiver. There needs to be a discussion on this," he added. The former CM also demanded discussion on rising incidents of crime against women in the state.

The opposition's demands came even as the state government tabled tabled supplementary demands worth Rs 15,000 crore for the implementation of the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule farm loan waiver scheme. Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, said the selection of two villages from every district is aimed at testing the efficiency of the system that is going to implement the crop loan waiver scheme.

The money will be transferred directly into the loan accounts of farmers, and the second list of beneficiaries will be out by February 28 and the entire scheme will conclude by April this year, he said.

"We have so far prepared a list of 35 lakh bank accounts that are likely to become eligible for the loan waiver scheme. Once few details are available, those accounts will be filtered further and finalised for the transfer of money," Pawar said.

Earlier, as soon as the session began, Thackeray introduced Congress member Vijay Wadettiwar as the minister of the Bahujan Kalyan Department and the Relief and Rehabilitation Department. Fadnavis questioned the absence of Wadettiwar, who had been upset over not being given the relief and rehabilitation department and had stayed away from taking charge of his ministerial duties.

With agency inputs

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