Kolhapur: The Congress Saturday criticised the Maharashtra government for its plan to levy cess on extraction of water from deep wells calling the move as anti-farmers. The opposition party also taunted the BJP-led government saying that tax should be imposed on the speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as well for giving “false promises” to people. “The BJP governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra are anti-farmer. After levying Goods and Services Tax (GST) on spare parts of tractors, this government has imposed tax on water in deep wells,” Congress leader Ashok Chavan said.
He was speaking at a public meeting at Chokak in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra as part of the first phase of the party’s ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’, a mass outreach programme undertaken in view of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. “Now, tax has to be levied on the speeches of Modi and Fadnavis, who have cheated people by making false promises,” he added. Chavan claimed that the state had achieved development during the Congress rule, but is now lagging behind under the BJP-Shiv Sena regime. Alleging that the agrarian crisis had worsened during the BJP rule, he contended that farmers were not getting enough price for their produce and their debts were still not being written off. He also attacked the Centre over demonetisation and introduction of GST.
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, former minister Harshvardhan Patil and other leaders of the party attended the public meeting, which followed a bike rally in Sangali Phata. The first phase was launched yesterday and will culminate on September 8 in Pune. The party would launch the next phase of the campaign on October 2, marking birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, in North Maharashtra. It plans to cover Marathwada and Vidarbha regions before winding up the three-and-half month campaign in Mumbai.