Maha Houses adjourned over farmers' issues, bill boycott call by Pawar

12 Dec 2017

Both the Houses of the Maharashtra Legislature were today adjourned for the day as the opposition parties raised slogans against the state government over the farmers' issues. In the Legislative Council, as soon as the proceedings began for the second day of the winter session, Leader of the Opposition Dhananjay Munde and other members started raising slogans condemning the BJP-led state government for "looting" the farmers. They also sought "relief" for the cultivators. While shouting the slogans, these members entered the well of the House, after which Council Chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar adjourned it for half an hour.
After the business resumed, leader of the House and minister Chandrakant Patil requested the opposition members to let the House function in a smooth manner saying that yesterday's work was still pending and important issues need to be discussed. However, when the Question Hour began, the opposition once again rushed to the well of the House and started raising slogans, following which the Upper House was adjourned for the second time for half an hour. After the proceedings resumed, supplementary demands were tabled amid protests from the opposition and the House was adjourned for the day.
In the state assembly as well, the opposition Congress and NCP created ruckus over the farm loan waiver and the agrarian crisis, due to which it was adjourned for the day by Pro-tem Speaker Yogesh Sagar around noon, after the conclusion of the Question Hour. When the proceedings of the Lower House began for the day, the leaders of Congress and NCP started raising slogans alleging that the BJP-Shiv Sena-led government had miserably failed to resolve the farmers' issues. They alleged that the government was not taking timely steps to curb the pink bollworm attack on cotton crop.
Meanwhile, the NCP chief Sharad Pawar  asked farmers in Maharashtra not to pay outstanding loan or dues like electricity bills to the government unless it deposits the "much-touted" loan waiver amount into their bank accounts. Speaking at a public rally -- 'Halla Bol' -- organised by the Congress and the NCP here on the issues of agrarian crisis, Pawar said if the government is "of no use to people", then people should not cooperate with it. "Unless the loan waiver amount is deposited into the bank accounts of farmers, I appeal to the farming community not to pay any dues or even electricity bills to the state government," the former Union agriculture minister, who turned 77 today, said. The Maharashtra government had announced a mega agri-loan waiver of Rs 34,022 crore on June 24 after a state-wide agitation by farmers. On July 9, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said around 36 lakh farmers in the state will have their entire debt waived. Pawar asked Fadnavis to "stay away" from "blackmail politics".
"The Maharashtra chief minister uses the language of blackmailing the opposition. We respect the mandate of the people who chose you to govern," Pawar asserted. "But if he thinks blackmailing is a part of people's mandate to his government, then he should remember that people can oust him from power." Speaking to reporters in Nagpur ahead of the winter session of state legislature, which began on Monday, Fadnavis had said, "I have enough evidence against the leaders of opposition and I will disclose it at the right time."  Pawar also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "deliberately" misconstruing a meeting at the residence of suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on December 6 and presenting it as a conspiracy by Pakistan to interfere in the Gujarat polls.(PTI)