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Congress demands loan waiver for Maharashtra farmers

IANS | Mumbai |

The Congress' Maharashtra unit on Tuesday said it would join hands with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to demand a complete waiver of loans of debt-hit farmers in the state.

"Leaders of both the parties will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to chart out a strategy to intensify our stand on the issue and ensure that the state government writes off the farm loans," Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said.

The opposition action comes after ruling Shiv Sena's President Uddhav Thackeray on Monday directed all party legislators to disrupt the ongoing Budget Session of the state legislature till farm loans are written off.

Vikhe-Patil said that till date, all claims by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government at arresting farmers suicides and related issues have proved fake.

"Since the past two-and-half years, the farmers suicides have not reduced and it will not stop till the government immediately announces a complete write-off of farm debts," Vikhe-Patil said.

During these two-and-half years Maharashtra has recorded around 9,000 farmland suicides and it was imperative to announce a loan-waiver without further delay if these deaths are to be stopped, he urged.

The Congress leader said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has been assuring since a year that loan-waiver would be announced at the appropriate time, but that has not come and suicides continue unabated.