BJP criticises Sharad Pawar at its executive meet

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Aurangabad, Maharashtra, Oct 15 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today came down heavily on Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar for paying more attention to cricket than the farmers and for importing bad quality wheat.

Speaking to newsmen here after the day's session of the two-day meet, senior BJP leader Eknathrao Khadse alleged that the NCP chief was not serious about the state's affairs and pointed out that Sharad Pawar had demanded the then National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to provide Rs 56,000 crore for the completion of pending irrigation projects in Maharashtra.

He had asked the Vajpayee government to provide assistance as the Centre's fifty per cent share to complete the projects. Since he is an active member of the UPA government, he should raise this demand and get it accepted, Mr Khadse said.

Mr Khadse, BJP leader in the state assembly, said Mr Pawar is known as a man of the masses and particularly farmers had ridiculed A B Vajpayee and L K Advani for not knowing anything about farming.

Since he knows everything including the suicides among farmers, he should take initiative to get his demand of Rs 56,000 crore for pending irrigation projects in the state be accepted by the Manmohan Singh government.

The BJP leader said the executive passed two resolutions, which includes efforts to make the Democratic Front (DF) government in the state remember the promises it had made to the farmers during the election campaigns.

Their demand includes free electricity, Rs 2,700 price for cotton, and waiving of farmers' debts, he said and demanded that the government should increase the loan amount limit for farmers from Rs 25,000 to Rs 5 lakh, that too at the 4 per cent interest rate.

While accusing the government of ignoring the Marathwada region, the senior BJP leader Haribhau Bagade demanded that the government should make concerted efforts to remove development backlog of Marathwada.

''We will also launch agitation if the government fails to focus on the region's overall development, he added.

UNI

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