Oppn. must commit to loan waiver, higher MSP: Shetti

Political parties joining any opposition alliance must commit to a one-time comprehensive farm loan waiver and agree to implement the M.S. Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations on minimum support prices, said Maharashtra farmer leader Raju Shetti. “That must be on the election manifesto. That is our main condition for joining the gathbandhan [alliance],” said Mr. Shetti, who is the president of Swabhimani Paksha and Member of Parliament from Hatkanangle. While his party is in the midst of seat-sharing talks with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party-led alliance, that took place in Mumbai on Thursday, Mr. Shetti wished to make it clear that his key demands on behalf of farmers are non-negotiable. The Swabhimani Paksha left the NDA in August 2017, citing the Narendra Modi government’s failure to keep its promises to farmers. “In 2014, Modi had promised to implement the M.S. Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations for an MSP that is 1.5 times of C2+FL, but he has not fulfilled it,” he said during an interaction in the Capital. Even if the Centre were to fulfil these promises now or offer a loan waiver, he would not rejoin the NDA, he said. “They have lost the trust of the farmers completely,” said Mr. Shetti. ‘Failed promises’ He pointed to crop insurance as another area where the BJP’s promises failed to keep pace with reality. He claimed that corporate insurers were collecting big premiums under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, but the payout to distressed farmers was minimal. Crop-cutting experiments are often faulty, he said, offering an example where 40 villages were denied a payout after the sample was taken from a single farmer who was not even on the registered list.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/oppn-alliance-must-commit-to-loan-waiver-higher-msp-shetti/article25793960.ece

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