Raising questions over the efficacy of loan waiver as a permanent solution to farmers’ woes, Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat has said that the measure will only provide urgent relief to them.
The RSS chief further said that it was not a permanent solution and the need of the hour was to streamline the entire agriculture sector so that it would become profitable in the long-term.
Bhagwat's statement discounting the efficacy of loan waiver as a permanent solution to farmers woes, however, prompted Congress to latch on his remarks and slam the BJP and its ideological mentor, saying they are "anti-farmer."
"The loan waiver is quite right for their (farmers) relief, but it is not a permanent solution. They (farmers) should get crops in sync with their labour and they should also get rightful returns (on agri produce)," Bhagwat said.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a programme organised by the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (MACCIA) on Monday night, which was attended by businessmen and industrialists.
"The need of the hour is to streamline the entire agriculture sector so that it could be turned into a profitable proposition in the long-term. In this process, the business class should extend their support to them (farmers) and help them avail of the benefits of technology and research," the Sangh chief said.
He also said the country was "lagging behind" in utilisation of technology and research in the fields of agriculture and industry.
"Our country desperately needs technology and research to advance productivity in the fields of industry, trade and agriculture. But unfortunately, we are lagging behind too much in utilisation of technology and research in these fields," he said.
Bhagwats remarks came on the heels of the BJP-led Maharashtra government announcing a mega loan waiver to the tune of Rs 34,022 crore, days after farmers held protests in various parts of the state.
When asked to comment on Bhagwats statement, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan yesterday said, "Once again, the BJP and the RSS have shown that they are anti-farmer and will continue to be so. They (the state government) took the (loan waiver) decision because they were under tremendous pressure."
(With PTI inputs)