BJP may corner govt over farm distress

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

Budget session of the state legislature is likely to end on March 20.

The Uddhav Thackeray-led government will present its maiden budget on March 6. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to corner the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government over issues like farm distress, crime against women, alleged differences among the ruling allies over transfer of the Elgar Parishad case probe to the NIA, during the Budget session of the state legislature that commences on February 24.

The budget session of the state legislature, which generally lasts six weeks, could be around four weeks this time as it is likely to end on March 20. The Uddhav Thackeray-led government will present its maiden budget on March 6. Mr Thackeray and his deputy Ajit Pawar, who is the state finance minister, have been holding a series of pre-budget meetings over the last few days.

Opposition BJP led by Devendra Fadnavis is likely to corner the three-party dispensation, especially the Shiv Sena, over a host of issues including the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), farm loan waiver and spurt in incidents of atrocities against women, political observers said.

The government had announced Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Farmer Loan Waiver Scheme during the winter session of the legislature in Nagpur, under which loan of up to Rs 2 lakh taken between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2019 and which has not been repaid till September 30, 2019 will be eligible for waiver. However, the BJP says that the farmers were yet to get the benefit of the scheme.

The government has said that the money will be transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries from next week. The BJP has also demanded that farmers who have been affected by unseasonal rains, be provided Rs 25,000 per hectare.

A senior minister said if Governor B.S. Koshyari signs by February 24 the cabinet decision of increasing the limit of contingency fund by Rs 10,000 crore, the loan waiver amount will be directly credited to the bank accounts of about 19 crore farmers, otherwise the implementation will be delayed.

About 33 lakh farmers are expected to benefit from this decision. To avail this scheme, Aadhaar card of farmers need to be linked to their bank accounts.