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NCP Says Modi Govt Did 'Surgical Strike' on Farmers by Banning Onion Export, Seeks Reversal of 'Tughlaqi' Move

NCP leader Mahesh Tapase. (Twitter)

NCP leader Mahesh Tapase. (Twitter)

The NCP is a key constituent in the MVA government in Maharashtra, a major producer of onion in the country. The Centre on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect, a move aimed at increasing availability and curbing prices of the commodity in the domestic market.

The Narendra Modi government at the Centre has conducted a surgical strike on farmers by banning onion export, the NCP alleged on Thursday, and demanded a reversal of the move. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Mahesh Tapase termed the decision as Tughlaqi (ill-thought-out) as it deprived onion growers of a good price for their produce at a time when there was an increasing demand for the commodity in the international market.

The NCP is a key constituent in the MVA government in Maharashtra, a major producer of onion in the country. The Centre on Monday banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect, a move aimed at increasing availability and curbing prices of the commodity in the domestic market.

Speaking to reporters here, Tapase also said the party will try to give justice to ex-serviceman Sonu Mahajan, who was allegedly thrashed by BJP MP Unmesh Patil and his supporters four years ago. Tapase was accompanied by other party spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare, Clyde Crasto and Mahesh Chavan on the occasion.

The Modi government has conducted a surgical strike on farmers in Maharashtra and elsewhere in the country by banning onion export, Tapase charged. The NCP leader said party president Sharad Pawar had on Tuesday flagged the concerns before Union Commerce MinisterPiyush Goyal.

Goyal, Tapase added, had assured farmers throughPawar that the Centre will take positive steps on the issue. It has been four days since the decision was taken, but the government has not reconsidered it yet.

"As a result, the issue is a burning one now, he added, apparently referring to protests by farmers on the issue in the state. Tapase claimed that owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, onion export has come down by 13 per cent, aggregating a business loss of around Rs 1,150 crore.

He noted that five lakh metric tonne onion is rotting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Nhava Sheva (in outskirts of Mumbai) and asked who is responsible for such a loss. Since the business has come to a halt, farmers naturally have found themselves in trouble. Hence, PrimeMinister Modi and Goyal should withdraw the decision, he added.

Workers of the Congress, another partner in the MVAgovernment, had on Wednesday staged statewide protests over the Centre's decision. Tapase also said Mahajan met Home Minister AnilDeshmukh at the party office here earlier in the day and demanded "justice".

The home minister has said that justice will be given to Mahajan in an unbiased manner, Tapase added.


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