Farmers may end strike as CM Fadnavis promises ‘biggest’ farm loan waiver in history

Farmers may end strike as CM Fadnavis promises 'biggest' farm loan waiver in history
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised to implement the ‘biggest’ farm loan waiver in the state’s history by October 31

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday promised to implement what he termed as the ‘biggest’ farm loan waiver in the state’s history by October 31, as the statewide farmers strike entered its sixth day.

“We will be writing off the loans of all deserving and needy farmers. For this we shall make use of IT-based technology,”  Fadnavis told media persons this afternoon.

“It will be the biggest farm loan waiver in history,” the CM added.

Amid allegations of delay, Fadnavis also tried to justify the time frame by claiming that the state government would require at least four months for identifying the needy and deserving beneficiaries.

In the past, there were irregularities in the loan waiver schemes, and to avoid that the government will take the help of IT-based technology this time, he said.

Referring to the six-day long strike, Fadnavis said the government is prepared for negotiations with the genuine farmers leaders, not with those who are firing from the shoulders of the farmers for politics.

The CM also dismissed claims about the strike’s success and Monday’s shutdown.

“Of the 307 APMCs, 300 were working, three were on strike, and four had their weekly off yesterday. I have complete details of the people behind the violence in different areas and the (political) parties to which they belong,” he said.

Since June 1, Maharashtra has witnessed the first ever strike by several lakhs of farmers who have secured support of ruling allies Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

Besides, the opposition parties like the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Leftist parties and 35 major trade unions, various NGOs, lawyers and other groups have also supported and joined the farmers agitation.

Although farmers or their representative bodies are yet to comment on CM’s offer, it could possibly bring the strike to an end and provide respite to lakhs of citizens who had to bear the brunt of costlier fruits and vegetables over the last few days.

Mumbai, for most part, remained relatively unaffected by the strike.

Earlier, government agencies and traders had anticipated that the strike won’t last long as farmers were not in a position to sustain financial losses.

With IANS inputs

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