Maha farmers suicides: Congress demands cases against state govt

Attempting to turn the tables on the ruling alliance of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and BJP’s Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, the opposition Congress on Monday demanded cases should be lodged against the Maharashtra government for continuing suicides by distressed farmers across the state.

Congress state President Nana Patole said that in several parts of the state like Vidarbha and Marathwada, heavy rains have caused huge damage to farmlands, and there is “a need to declare a wet drought”.

“The Shinde-Fadnavis government is anti-farmer and there is no let-up in farmers’ suicide in the state. When the BJP was in the opposition, they demanded cases should be filed against us (the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi). Now, we want cases to be lodged against the Shinde-Fadnavis regime,” he demanded.

Terming the ex-gratia payment announced by the state government as “insufficient”, the Congress chief said that the claims that it was higher than the NDRF norms was “fooling” the people and reiterated that the administration is insensitive to the farmers.

“The NDRF norms are now outdated as the prices of fertilisers, seeds, and pesticides have increased a lot. The aid announced by the government does not reflect the inflation, and even the Centre has left the farmers in the lurch,” said Patole.

He reiterated the demand for Rs 75,000 per hectare to farmers who suffered losses in the non-irrigated lands and Rs 150,000 for those in the irrigated and horticulture lands.

Patole said that the Congress leaders have visited and inspected the flood-affected regions where a ‘wet-drought’ type of condition prevails, and the farmers rued that the state government is neglecting them.

For the third day, the opposition Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Shiv Sena and other parties continued their protest on the footsteps of the Maharashtra Legislature.

They raised slogans against the Shinde-Fadnavis government, terming Shinde and his rebel Shiv Sena MLAs as ‘gaddar’ (traitors), mocked them on ’50 khoke’ (Rs.50 crores) and that those who faced the ED ran to the BJP.

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