The Shiv Sena on Tuesday warned its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Maharashtra coalition government not to invite the ‘wrath’ of the farming community writhing under natural calamities and resorting to suicides.
“We may be a part of the governments in the Centre and the state, but we will not bow before the BJP… Whenever required we will speak up in the interests of the people, as we have made clear from the beginning,” the Shiv Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece Saamana.
Reiterating that the farmers’ interests were “primary to the Shiv Sena”, the party said it would not desist from sitting on the government’s “neck” to fulfil the 2014 election promises made to the farming community.
“Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claims to have sought maximum aid from the Centre to help the farmers… But union Agriculture Minister Radhamohan Singh proved both Devendra Fadnavis and state agriculture minister (Eknath Khadse) wrong on this issue,” the Sena said.
Singh denied that any such proposal was received from Maharashtra and later Khadse proved him (Singh) wrong on this count.
“The ministers are busy calling each other liars… So, the question is, who is playing with the lives of the farmers? In the midst of this, the country’s farmers are ruined and starving,” the Sena said.
The Sena cknowledged that whenever there are natural calamities, the central government rushes in with instant aid of around Rs 500 crore, but wondered how much of this actually reached the farmers.
“In Maharashtra, during 2014-2015, it extended Rs 538.08 crore (support), of which the Centre’s share was Rs 503.56 crore. Maharashtra’s coffers are empty… But our ministers make tall claims of big figures, which don’t reach the farmers who are compelled to commit suicide,” the Sena said.
Referring to Khadse’s recent statement that the government has no solution to end farmers’ suicides, the Sena pointed out that nearly 52 percent of the country’s farmers are in deep debt of around Rs 50,000 per head.
They avail fresh loans for crops which get destroyed due to natural calamities, increasing the debt burden… and the vicious circle continues, the Sena observed.
“The dollar rate is falling… The country’s farmers are in doldrums, but the central and state ministers are engaged in war of words over the fate of the farming community… Don’t earn their wrath and reveal the truth… That’s all we have to say for now,” the Sena cautioned.