Opposition boycotts customary tea meeting

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Mumbai, July 15 (UNI) The opposition Shiv Sena-BJP combine in Maharashtra today boycotted the customary tea meeting by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, on the eve of the budget session, saying the state government had nothing much for farmers nor for solving the load shedding problem.

Talking to reporters, leaders of the Opposition in both the houses Ramdas Kadam and Pandurang Phundkar, along with BJP leader Eknath Khadse, said they had received a letter for the tea meeting by the Chief Minister but decided to decline the same.

They said the government was acting irresponsibly towards solving the farmers problems as 310 farmers had committed suicide so far from January one till date.

''We demanded complete loan waiver but it was not given due attention,'' the Opposition leaders said.

Alleging that the state is reeling under a huge debt, which has reached a staggering Rs 1.58,000 crore, former finance minister Mr Khadse said that their demand of publishing a white paper on the issue of loan waiver was also not accepted so far.

Even as the Kharif season has started, the farmers are facing black marketing of fertilizers and seeds, due to lack of planning by the state government, Mr Kadam alleged.

The Opposition members said that due to load shedding, industries are leaving the state. They also cited the rising prices and weak law and order situation in the state.

It may be recalled that the Opposition, barring the last budget session, had boycotted the tea meetings on the eve of six sessions in a row.


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