Taking the fight over the farm loan waiver outside the legislature, the Opposition parties in Maharashtra launched a statewide 'sangharsh yatra' today. Over 90 legislators of the Congress, NCP, Peasants and Workers Party, Republican Party of India (Kawade), Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party and MIM are part of the statewide tour. But the yatra came under BJP's criticism, with the party calling it a yatra in a plush Mercedes Benz bus.
Opposition parties, led by the Congress and NCP, have been aggressive in both Houses of Maharashtra Legislature. The proceedings of the ongoing budget session were disrupted several times over the demand for loan waiver.
The rally that started from Chandrapur will pass through Yavatmal, Wardha, Nagpur, Amravati and Washim districts of Vidarbha before entering Marathwada and proceed further to western Maharashtra.
Several MLAs and MLCs from the opposition boarded an air-conditioned bus for the yatra. The move was severely criticised by the BJP. "What type of sanghash yatra is this? MLAS and MLAc are travelling in an AC Mercedes Benz with imported sunglasses. This shows how concerned they are. If they were serious they should have come to the House and discussed the issue on the floor of the House," alleged education minister Vinod Tawade.
The Congress hit back at the BJP over the criticism alleging that the Saffron Party was trivialising the issue. "The BJP has always taken a jibe at the Opposition to divert attention from burning issues. We do not want to give any importance to such criticism. If ministers like Tawade are serious about farmer loan waiver, then they should stop using air conditioners in their houses, stop travelling by cars and go to rural Maharashtra to understand the real problems of the farmers," said Ashok Chavan, MP and president of Maharashtra State Congress Committee.