Fadnavis made introductory comments on the subject of the month for 10 minutes and then replied to questions from farmers.
Mumbai: Following in the footsteps of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addresses the nation every month via his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis launched a half-hour television show of his own titled ‘Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoy’, where he will interact directly with the people, on Sunday. The first episode was themed on ‘sustainable agriculture’ and the points raised by the CM were culled from his recent speeches in Vidhan Bhavan during the budget session. The Opposition, however, was unimpressed and taunted Mr Fadnavis, saying ‘farmers need a loan waiver, not a lecture.’
Mr Fadnavis made introductory comments on the subject of the month for 10 minutes and then replied to questions from farmers. The chief minister reiterated his stand on the loan waiver for farmers, as his government is under pressure from Opposition parties in the wake of Uttar Pradesh’s massive loan waiver decision. Mr Fadnavis said, “We are not against a loan waiver for farmers. But it is not the only answer to farmers’ issues. We have seen that it didn’t stop farmer suicides. Therefore, we need to invest more and make agriculture more feasible and sustainable.”
Mr Fadnavis replied to a question on setting a minimum support price (MSP) on perishable vegetables. He said, “It is not possible to set a MSP on perishable crops. But processing these crops, especially fruits for juices, would help farmers. The state government is setting up food-processing units.”
Replying to a question regarding his pet project, the Jalyukta Shivar, Mr Fadnavis said, “The credit for the success of this scheme goes to the people of the state because they’ve supported it everywhere. It is an amalgamation of 14 different water-conservation schemes that involve the people’s participation. In the next few years this scheme will change the waterscape of Maharashtra.” Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde said, “The CM is repeatedly giving the same reply and trying to postpone the farmer loan waiver”