On Tuesday, the Congress launched a state wide agitation called the Jan Aakrosh Andolan even as the BJP-led government in Maharashtra marked its third year in office.
The agitation, which seeks to shed light on the “various unfulfilled promises” made by the government, will conclude on 8 November—the one year anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing demonetisation—with the Congress observing a “Black Day”.
Senior Congress leaders Gulab Nabi Azad, Mohan Prakash, Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil were present at the public rally in Ahmednagar.
Former chief minister and state Congress president Ashok Chavan said that the government is insulting farmers by not clearing their loans despite distributing no dues certificates. Chavan claimed that the certificates have been distributed for two weeks, but not a single farmer has benefitted.
Chavan added that the Congress will hold multiple rallies across the state and that the agitation will bring to light the public anger at the failures of the BJP-led government.
Chavan also blamed the state machinery for delaying the disbursal of the loan waiver amount to farmers.
“When we were in power, we gave the loan waiver to farmers within a week of the announcement,” Chavan said. “This government, in the name of transparency, issued 9 Government Resolutions (GR) in one week.”
Chavan added that the government was trying to deprive farmers by imposing strict criteria to be eligible for the loan waiver scheme.
“They are famous for making false promises,” Chavan said.
Chavan also demanded a judicial probe into the inaccurate data provided by the banks for the Rs 34,022-crore farm loan waiver scheme declared by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “Errors such as linking a single Aadhaar number with hundreds of accounts are a serious matter. The state government cannot abdicate its responsibility,” he said.
Chavan said the Fadnavis government made several promises when it came to power in 2014, but not a single promise has been fulfilled.
“Every section of society will join in our stir. Reservation for Marathas, Muslims and the Dhangar community remains on paper. The government keeps misleading us again and again. They are only making false promises to the 12 crore citizens of Maharashtra. The Congress is on the right track and we will win the upcoming elections,” he added.
The government is attempting to mask its failure by putting the blame on the banks, Chavan claimed, adding that the government’s intention seems to be to make a mockery of the farmers and reduce the number of beneficiaries so that the expenditure remains minimal.
“As far as I know, the amount spent on the farm loan waiver will not be more than Rs 10,000 crore,” Chavan claimed. “Around 12 lakh farmers will benefit.”