NCP not for review, scrapping of reservation policy: Sharad Pawar

Yavatmal (Maharashtra): Calling the issue of reservation a “delicate” one, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today said his party would never accept revision or scrapping of the reservation policy.

“It is a delicate issue and my party would never accept any revision or scrapping of the reservation policies,” Pawar told reporters while replying to a query on RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s call for a review of reservation policy which has sparked a row in political circles. The former Union Agriculture Minister also said that the idea of separate budget for agriculture sector was not plausible enough. “As agriculture is linked with many other sectors, isolating it for the sake of a separate budget is not convincing,” he said.

Pawar was addressing a press conference after visiting three villages — Pimpri (Butti), Bham Raja and Bothbodan– in Yavatmal tehsil. He said farmers’ demand for complete loan waiver and hike in minimum support price (MSP) for agriculture produce like cotton and soyabean was a justified one and the state and Union governments should act swiftly if they want to check further suicides by farmers. Pawar met several widows of farmers in these villages and heard their grievances. “I have come to Yavatmal to meet the farmer widows and establish a one-to-one dialogue with the farmers so that I would be able to know their issues, which I would raise with the governments,” he said.

There were, the NCP leader said, four major factors responsible for farmers committing suicide — crop failure, crop loan burden, inadequate MSP and lack of irrigation facilities. Listing the “farmer-friendly” decisions taken by the previous UPA government, Pawar criticised the Narendra Modi-led NDA dispensation for declaring a hike of “mere” Rs 50 per quintal of cotton and demanded that the Centre should do a rethink on the issue.

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