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Maharashtra Assembly session: Opposition stages walkout over farmer woes, Maratha quota discussions | Mumbai News


Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) legislators staged a walk out of the state legislative assembly on the second day of the winter session in Nagpur after Speaker Rahul Narvekar refused to give permission for discussions on reservation, compensation for droughts, unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm affected farmers.

The opposition legislators – including Leader of Opposition in the lower house Vijay Wadettiwar, Congress’s group leader Nana Patole, Sharad Pawar led NCP’s Jayant Patil and others – insisted Narvekar should hold discussions on farmers and reservation policy immediately. He said the issues were important and would allow it later in the day or Saturday, which irked the opposition party members following which, they staged walkout.

“The government was not serious on the important issue affecting a large number of farmers, cotton and orange growers. The discussion should take place on the matter immediately,” Patole said.

Later in the day, Patole along with other opposition members held a meeting with Narvekar in the latter’s chamber during which the Opposition was assured a discussion on these issues would be held next week.

Subsequently, an announcement was made in the assembly that a discussion on farmers’ distress and the Maratha and OBCs reservation policy will take place on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

Festive offer

Earlier in the day, the Opposition continued their protest outside the state legislature premises and accused the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde led state government of not being serious on farmers’ issues, its demands for higher MSP for cotton, better prices for onions and farm loan waivers.

The opposition MLAs protested on the staircase of the Vidhan Bhavan building and raised slogans against the government.

“Farmers’ crops have been damaged due to unseasonal rainfalls and hailstorms. Cotton growers have been severely affected. The state government must ensure higher remuneration to cotton growers as it could offer them some relief from the current distress,” Patole said.

The opposition demanded the minimum support price of Rs 14,000 per quintal of cotton and higher MSPs for soyabean.
Ambadas Danve, Leader of Opposition in the legislative council, also raised the issue of farmers in the Upper House and demanded proper prices for cotton, soyabean and onion.

Opp protest ban on sugarcane juice, onion export

The opposition legislators also raised the issue of the Centre’s decision to ban the use of sugarcane juice and sugar syrup in ethanol production as well as the ban on onion export and hike in its export duty. They claimed the ban on the use of sugarcane juice and sugar syrup will adversely affect sugar mills that have taken loans from banks to set up ethanol production companies.

Deputy CM Ajit Pawar assured the Opposition that the state government has taken up the issue with the Centre and that Union Cooperation Minister Amit Shah has assured a way out in the next two days.

Pawar also said if needed he will also speak to Union Minister Piyush Goyal about it and will meet Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on the issue.

Speaking about it in the Assembly, the finance minister also said that the Centre’s decision was sudden and mentioned most sugar mills of Maharashtra have invested heavily in setting up ethanol plants. “I have spoken to my cabinet colleagues as well as the Chief Minister. I have also spoken to Amit Shah. He has assured of finding a way out. I will also speak to Piyush Goyal ji and if needed I will fly to Delhi and will also meet Union Minister Nitin Gadkari ji,” Pawar said in the lower house.

The Centre on Thursday banned the use of sugarcane juice and sugar syrup for ethanol production in the 2023-24 supply year that started this month, in order to maintain adequate sugar availability for domestic consumption and to keep prices under check.





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