Nashik: Demanding that the state government should waive off farmers’ loans or deposit Rs 15 lakh in each of their accounts, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray stated that he would lead farmers in a long march on Vidhan Bhavan to demand their rights.
Uddhav Thackeray was speaking during a day-long farmers’ convention in Nashik on Friday. Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president MP Raju Shetti too was present at the convention.
The farmers’ convention was organised in the wake of a spate in farmers’ suicides, especially in Nashik district, and the local farmers’ opposition to the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, which passes through Nashik district.
Earlier an emotional atmosphere prevailed when shradhanjali was offered to the asthi (ashes) of a farmer, who committed suicide.
The atmosphere became further emotional when orphaned daughters and widows spoke their views.
Uddhav Thackeray vehemently opposed the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway also termed the ‘samuddhi’ (prosperity) expressway.
“If the highway is being built by uprooting farmers, we don’t want it. Both the capitals should be joined but not after bulldozing the prosperity of farmers,”
Mr Thackeray said.
He stated that the Shiv Sena would use all its strength and join the farmers’ agitation.
“We will continue to support the government even from the outside if the loans are waived. We are not villains to divide the farmers in Maharashtra. We want tohelp the farmers. There is no ‘mann ki baat’ now it is ‘shetkari ke baat’. If the loan waiver is a temporary remedy at least use it. Later we’ll see...” Uddhav Thackeray added.
Apparently taunting senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, Uddhav Thackeray said, “Useless people are sitting in the Opposition. They tell us
to give up power and are holding secret meetings with the BJP to enter that party.”
He also criticised BJP state president Raosaheb Danve for calling farmers the Marathi pejorative ‘saale’.
Mr Thackeray also demanded an inquiry into the tur dal purchase scandal and also questioned the benefits of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
Mr Shetti warned the government of its fate during the 2019 elections if they failed to waive off farmers’ loans. “We want justice for farmers. First make the farmers ‘samruddh’ (prosperous) then decide about building the samruddhi highway,” he said. Mr Thackeray recently also alleged corruption in Jalyukta Shivar scheme, a pet project of CM.