Nagpur: On Tuesday, NCP president and former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar headed an anti-government rally in Nagpur.
The Jan Halla Bol Aakrosh March, which was held on Pawar’s 77 birthday, was attended by around 50,000 people. Senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan from the Congress besides Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule and nephew Ajit Pawar were also present.
The Congress and NCP jointly led the rally and were joined by leaders from the Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPM, RPI and Republican Party of India (Kavade Group). The march aimed to corner the BJP-Shiv Sena government in the state for its unfulfilled promises, including the loan waiver programme, farmer suicides and minimum support price (MSP) price for farmers.
Pawar, addressing the public, said, “Ten years ago, after farmer suicides in Yavatamal, Manmohan Singh visited. We sanctioned Rs 70,000 crore as loan waiver across country in eight days. Of that Rs 8,000 crore was given to Maharashtra.”
Pawar added that the earlier government trusted farmers and banks, and said that for the past six months, the government had been repeatedly promising to waive loans. “But the loans have not been waived. Every time the chief minister says ‘we’ll give, we’ll give’. But when will they give?”
Pawar then called for the farmers to start a non-cooperation movement against the state government. “Till the time the money is not deposited in the accounts, no farmer must pay his light bill, society bill or taxes.”
Pawar said that the movement would continue until the farmers received the MSP and the loan waiver. The NCP supremo urged the people attending the rally to go from village to village and spread the word. “We do not want charity,” he added. “We want our promised to be fulfilled.”
Pawar also took aim at Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “Two days ago, Fadnavis threatened an NCP leader. He said that whatever scams, scandals and corruptions took place, we will act against it. As a chief minister, as head of state, no one has stopped you. Take whatever action you please. However, if you try to threaten us, know that we have the strength to root you out. Do not underestimate the power of farmers. The farmers who gave you the seat of the chief minister can take the seat away.”
Pawar also took aim at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his remarks about the meeting held at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence last Wednesday. “As head of the country, Modi should be ashamed. How can he even think such dirty thoughts? Manmohan Singh’s integrity and patriotism should not be questioned. We have not allowed foreign powers to come here and take root.”
“This morcha will not end here,” Pawar concluded. “We will uproot the Fadnavis and Modi government.”