Mah opposition boycotts Assembly proceedings over loan waiver

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Nagpur, Dec 1 (UNI) The entire opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly boycotted the last phase of the proceedings of the House on the concluding day today of the ongoing winter session here to press their demand for complete loan waiver to farmers in the state after forcing a 30-minute adjournment on the issue earlier.

Raising slogans against the incumbent Democratic Front (DF) Government for its alleged failure to provide succour to the distressed farmers, the opposition staged a walkout as the House began to take up the calling attention motions listed for the day, and then squatted on the steps of the Assembly Hall, continuing the sloganeering.

The opposition staged a walkout and began the boycott after Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh assured the House that the Government would announce its policy on loan waiver within the next three months. A meeting had been convened at New Delhi to discuss the issue Mr Deshmukh said, and reiterated that the State Government would decide its stand after the Centre made a decision on the issue. The State Government did not want to announce a decision in a hurry and thereby lose any financial assistance that might be announced by the Centre, he said.

The Government had appointed a cabinet sub-committee to examine the issue of compensation to cotton cultivators whose crop had been damaged by pests and ordered a survey to assess the damage to paddy crop, Mr Deshmukh said.

The assistance would be announced after receiving the reports, he added.

Leader of the Opposition Ramdas Kadam demanded that the Government announce its policy within 15 days. Eknath Khadse (BJP) said the Government should announce a specific policy on the issue within the next three months.

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