Don't 'harass' common people, ryots over power bills: Darekar

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Latur, Feb 4 (PTI) Opposition BJP legislator Pravin Darekar on Thursday accused Maharashtra's MVA government of giving concessions to the rich, but 'harassing' common people and farmers for recovery of electricity bills.

The leader of opposition in the legislative council said if the Shiv Sena-led government failed to immediately stop 'harassment' of common citizens and farmers over recovery of power dues, the BJP will intensify its statewide agitation over the issue.

Darekar was addressing a press conference at the Latur collectorate in central Maharashtra.

Earlier, he submitted a memorandum listing various demands of the BJP to district collector Prithviraj BP.

Darekar said, During the kharif season, farmers were facing problems due to natural calamities. They had to undertake double sowing and were affected by heavy rains.

'Now, there is an abundant supply of water in Latur district. But, due to erratic power supply, crops cannot be irrigated.' The BJP leader hit out at the MVA government over recovery of pending power dues from cultivators.

'The government is harassing farmers for recovery of power bills. We demand that farmers be given concession to pay electricity bills. Interest and penalties levied on original bills should be waived and 50 per cent discount be given on original bills,' he said.

The government had announced to provide 300 units of free electricity to farmers but it has failed to implement its promise, Darekar said.

Talking about crop insurance, he said insurance companies are not ready to accept loss estimation survey of the revenue department.

Their is no coordination between the government, insurance companies and the agriculture department, Darekar said.

Asked about the alleged fixing of contest in the Latur Rural constituency during the 2019 assembly polls, a claim made by BJP leader Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Darekar said the issue will be discussed at the party level.

Late last month, Patil Nilangekar had alleged that the 2019 Assembly poll fight in Latur Rural, contested by the Shiv Sena, then a BJP ally, was 'fixed', a charge rejected by Congress MLA Dhiraj Deshmukh, who eventually won the seat. The Sena and the Congress are now allies in the ruling coalition.

Nilangekar is a senior leader and also a member of the BJPs core committee. The issue raised by him will be discussed at the party level,' Darekar said.

He lambasted the Shiv Sena, saying the former BJP ally has moved away from the path of Hindutva.

Speaking at the press meet, Patil Nilangekar said if the MVA government fails to announce a decision about relief on pending electricity bills within 8 to 10 days, the BJP will launch a jail-bharo (fill the prison) agitation. PTI COR RSY RSY