The loan waiver has become a politically sensitive issue over the past six months.
Mumbai: Though the Maharashtra government has declared complete waiver of the loans of 89 lakh farmers, BJP’s sulking ally Shiv Sena and opposition parties have expressed their dissatisfaction over details of the announcement. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray expressed his displeasure while NCP chief Sharad Pawar has asked for more details to be included. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan has called it fudging of data. Not just political leaders but even the farmers’ core committee has rejected the loan waiver scheme and threatened to begin an agitation from July.
The loan waiver has become a politically sensitive issue over the past six months. The ruling BJP has been on the receiving end of the issue, with the recent farmers’ strike that began on June 1 damaging the party’s reputation in rural parts of the state. Even chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ attempts to pacify farmers backfired and the party had to ultimately give in and declare the loan waiver. However, for the loan waiver to truly help the BJP, the dust from the farmers’ agitation has to first settle down. Opposition parties are in no mood to let that happen and are keeping the Damocles’ sword hanging over the BJP leadership’s head by stretching the issue as much as possible.
Uddhav said in Aurangabad that the loan waiver was only a partial help for farmers. “Government should form a committee that will study farmers’ others demands. Also, the government must declare the names of 40 lakh beneficiaries of this scheme,” he said. However, this is being perceived as Uddhav’s attempt to keep the BJP anxious over the issue.
Mr Pawar too has asked that farmers be given more relief. “Twenty-five per cent of the loan amount or Rs 25,000 for farmers who have repaid their loans is not justifiable. Government should increase the amount to Rs 1 lakh,” he demanded. Mr Chavan has asked the government to declare the names of all beneficiaries of the scheme.