Congress to agitate for Maharashtra farmers’ loan waiver

Mumbai, July 8 (IANS) The Maharashtra Congress will launch a two-day statewide agitation to demand loan waiver for debt-hit farmers in the state, a top party official said here on Wednesday.

The agitation at all district headquarters would be led by different party leaders and processions will be taken out to the local collectorates, said Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Ashok Chavan.

The move follows a party announcement at a meeting in Mumbai on June 3 and later at a rally in Yavatmal on June 27.

“The agitation will focus on the burning issues confronting the farming community, including unabated suicides due to debts and falling prices of agricultural products. We shall also raise the issues of reservations for Muslims and the growing social divide in the state,” Chavan said in a statement here.

He said the Congress demanded a complete loan waiver and aid packages for the farmers and had launched several agitations in the past, but the present government had ignored the demands.

The agitation would be led by former chief ministers Narayan Rane and Prithviraj Chavan, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, and many former ministers.

Chavan warned that if the state government failed to take note of their demands, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena combine would have to face the consequences in the coming monsoon session of the state legislature.

The Congress agitation comes in the wake of the rout of the BJP-SS combine in zila parishad elections in Bhandara and Gondiya in Vidarbha region, the home region of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, which has seen the maximum farmland suicides in the state.

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