NCP MP Amol Kolhe on Friday slammed the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government for not persuading the Centre to lift the ban on onion exports.
Kolhe, who is leading a farmers’ protest organised by the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) coalition, was addressing a meeting at Khadki in Pune.
The three-day ‘Shetkari Akrosh Morcha’ began at Shivneri Fort, the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and will culminate at the collector’s office in Pune on December 30.
”While Shinde claims his government belongs to farmers, he and the deputy chief ministers have not raised the demand to lift the ban on onion exports,” the NCP leader said.
The Centre has banned onion exports until March 31, 2024, to increase domestic availability and keep prices in check.
Kolhe said the Centre announced the ban at a time when farmers felt they would get a good price for their onion crop.
”Onion producers have suffered losses to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore, but the ‘one full and two doubtful’ government in the state cannot ask the Centre to reconsider the export ban,” the legislator from Shirur said.
In a veiled jibe at Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Kolhe said those responsible for the political earthquake in Maharashtra have claimed that they have taken the stand for the sake of development.
Ajit Pawar had recently said the NCP faction led by him will contest from Shirur and defeat Kolhe in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The actor-turned-politician had attended Ajit Pawar’s swearing-in in July but had preferred to stay with NCP president Sharad Pawar, following the split in the party.