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The Congress on Sunday said it didn't mind their criticism by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, provided that he announces a loan waiver for farmers in the state. "The chief minister has used shameful words against the Opposition's 'Sangharsh Yatra' (the campaign for the loan waiver). We do not mind if he uses even more derogatory language against us, but we want the CM to announce a loan waiver to help farmers," Congress' state unit president Ashok Chavan said in a statement issued in Maharashtra. He stated that Maharashtra has a glorious history of respecting the Opposition parties and that no chief minister in the last 57 years has made such remarks before. The opposition parties, including the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), have been holding protests seeking waiving of loans of farmers in the state. Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Raosaheb Danve last week said that though the government was not against the waiver but it is of the view that such a measure might not work in the long term. Chavan claimed that over 9,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last two-and-a-half years in the state as they are not receiving adequate money for their produce. "Tur producing farmers are standing in queues for getting their produce sold to the government.
You had yourself promised these farmers that the government will not shut down procurement centres till all produce has been sold," he stated. Fadnavis, in his concluding speech at the BJP state executive in Pimpri near Pune last week, said, "those who are responsible for the farmers' sorry condition are now holding a yatra (campaign) today. This cannot be a 'Sangharsha Yatra' because they themselves are responsible for farmers' sangharsha (struggle)." The chief minister said the 'yatra' was not evoking response because the farmers know that the opposition leaders, who were part of the previous government, were responsible for their plight. He said the BJP will counter the 'Sangharsha Yatra' with 'Samvaad Yatra' (communication drive) wherein the party workers will reach to common people and make them aware about welfare policies of the stare government.