Mumbai: The Maharashtra Assembly witnessed pandemonium on Tuesday after the opposition BJP accused the state government of "not fulfilling" the assurances made to farmers, and demanded a blanket loan waiver for all cultivators.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said he had given an adjournment notice for a discussion on farmers' issues and rising crimes against women in the state.
"Rest of the business on the day's agenda should be set aside and these issues should be taken up for discussion," he demanded.
Fadnavis criticised the farm loan waiver announced by the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, saying in two months only 15,000 farmers were its beneficiaries.
"If this is the speed of implementation, it would take 470 months to clear the debt of 35 lakh farmers," he said. Many assurances were given to farmers. The present loan waiver is for farmers (whose crop loan is up to Rs two lakh) till September 2019, the former chief minister said.
"The unseasonal rains began since October 2019. The farmers who suffered crop losses (in those rains) will not benefit," he said.
The ruling parties, before coming to power, demanded Rs 25,000 per hectare for crop losses and current Finance Minister AjitPawar even assured Rs one lakh per hectare, Fadnavis said.
"Why are farmers not getting a single penny now?" the senior BJP leader asked. He demanded that the government announce Rs 25,000 per hectare for farmers who suffered crop losses due to unseasonal
rains, and a blanket loan waiver for all farmers.
Speaker Nana Patole said the farmers' issue is important and the day's business is also important. The issue of crimes against women is listed in the Calling Attention notice in the day's business and a special discussion on women is scheduled on March 5, he said.
"The issue of crimes against women can be taken up during that time," Patole said. However, the BJP members then entered the well of the House and shouted slogans against the government. Some women members of the BJP woreblack aprons,which had slogans against the Uddhav Thackeray government.
The Speaker tried to continue with the Question Hour, while the BJP members shouted slogans against Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the government, and tore papers. The women members climbed the podium and gathered near the Speaker's seat.
Patole then asked the opposition members to go back to their seats. "I will allow you to speak, but you should also cooperate," he said. State Sports Minister Sunil Kedar said he sat on a fast after the incident of a woman lecturer being burnt by a stalker in Hinganghat town of Wardha district recently, but no BJP worker or leader joined him.
"It is easy to just shout slogans," he said. Sensing the belligerent mood of the opposition member, the Speaker adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
Later, when the House resumed, the presiding officer adjourned it again for another 15 minutes.