Uddhav demands loan waiver for farmers

Mumbai: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray today said the farmers in Maharashtra are going through a bad phase and demanded a loan waiver for them.

He said sowing will begin in mid-June and the farmers need to be debt-free, otherwise they will not get fresh crop loan.

“Farmers’ issues are highly sensitive. One should not overstretch it. If farmers stop tilling the fields, it will be the end for all,” Uddhav told reporters in Aurangabad.

“We are launching a campaign — ‘I shall be debt free’ — focusing on farmers’ plight in the state. The farming community is passing through a bad phase and loan waiver is the much-needed remedy,” he said.

Farmers’ produce did not incur good returns following the tur dal crisis where despite the state’s intervention, procurement centres are purchasing very little amount of tur or split red gram, Uddhav said.

“The district central cooperative banks are weak. Hence, credit supply is largely dependent on public and private sector banks,” the Sena chief said.

The budget session of the Maharashtra Legislature was largely affected due to the agrarian crisis. After the opposition parties took out ‘Sangharsh Yatra’, Shiv Sena also launched its ‘Shiv Sampark Abhiyaan’.

Uddhav held meetings in Aurangabad and said he will speak on regional issues during the ‘Sampark Abhiyaan’ in the coming days.

He also held a meeting with party MLAs from the Marathwada region. Uddhav held a discussion with party leaders over possible Shiv Sena candidates for the next Lok Sabha and assembly polls. A detailed report of the previous elections, candidates who contested the polls and vote share was discussed in the meeting, Sena sources said.