Ahead of the commencement of Maharashtra Legislature's budget session, BJP legislators staged a protest on the steps of the Vidhan Bhawan on Monday, alleging that the government "failed" to address farmers' woes and curb crimes against women. They demanded that the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government write off farmers' debts completely and also provide them a financial assistance of Rs 25,000 per hectare for crop damage.
"There are nearly 34 lakh farmers (eligible for seeking loan waiver), but a list of potential beneficiaries of some 20,000 cultivators is put out today. We condemn this selectiveness of the state government," BJP state president Chandrakant Patil said. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis said the MVA government has "failed" to protect women in the state.
"The rising number of assaults, in which some women even lost their lives, are serious and cannot be ignored," the former chief minister told reporters. Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar also criticised the government over the issues being faced by farmers and the rising crimes against women. "We are going to corner the state government over the issues of farmers' plight and women's safety," he said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier said the state government will on Monday release the first list of 20,000 farmers who have benefited under the state crop loan waiver scheme.
He said two villages from each district have been selected in the first list of the potential beneficiaries. The chief minister in December last year announced the scheme writing off debts of farmers whose crop loan outstanding is up to Rs 2 lakh till September 30, 2019.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who holds the finance portfolio, on Sunday said the money will be transferred directly into the loan accounts of farmers. He said the second list of beneficiaries will be out by February 28 and the entire scheme will conclude by April this year. "We have so far prepared a list of 35 lakh bank accounts which are likely to become eligible for the loan waiver scheme. Once few details are available, those accounts will be filtered further and finalised for the transfer of money," he said.