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Maharashtra opposition to seek legislature session to discuss farm loan waiver

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-05-2017 Abhiram Ghadyalpatil

Mumbai: Opposition parties in Maharashtra will request governor Vidyasagar Rao on Tuesday to direct the government to call a special legislature session to discuss a waiver of farm loans.

A delegation of opposition parties including leader of the opposition in the legislative council Dhananjay Munde, Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Jayant Patil of the Peasants and Workers Party, and Abu Azmi of the Samjawadi Party will meet the governor, Congress leader and leader of the opposition in the assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil told reporters on Monday.

Vikhe-Patil said the state government needed to declare farm loan waiver “immediately to stop farmer suicides and a special sitting of the legislature was necessary”.

“A special session was held to pass the goods and services tax bills. The critical situation of farmers in the state also deserves a special sitting, where the government needs to declare farm loan waiver,” he said.

Last week, opposition parties concluded the third phase of their ‘Sangharsha Yatra’ (struggle march) which they launched on 29 March to mobilize farmers’ support for a loan waiver.

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After the first phase of the march, the opposition parties also added the issue of tur procurement to their agenda, and attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government for its “inept handling of tur purchase at minimum support price”.

The next phase of Sangharsha Yatra starts on 11 May in the Konkan region.

“The Sangharsha Yatra, which has covered regions of Vidarbha, Marathwada, western Maharashtra, north Maharashtra and Khandesh, has convinced us that an immediate farm loan waiver is the only solution to the severe agrarian crisis. Farmers are in the throes of an unprecedented crisis due to drought, crop failure, and the lack of profitable remunerative prices for their produce. They do not have money to repay agriculture debt and the government needs to relieve them of this debt burden. The high number of farm suicides bears testimony to the farm crisis and legitimacy of this demand,” Vikhe-Patil said.

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