Mumbai: In a veiled attack on BJP, NCP chief Sharad Pawar Monday asked like-minded forces to unite for taking on “this national calamity which has indulged in the sin of spreading the venom of casteism”. Addressing a conference organised by the All India Kisan Sabha, farmers’ wing of the CPM, Pawar charged the BJP-led central and state governments of not having a sympathetic view towards farmers facing agrarian crisis.
Pawar also accused BJP of resurrecting the Ram temple dispute to divert attention from imminent problems like the agrarian crisis and drought and asked farmers to come together against the ruling party. The working class was being destroyed, farmers were committing suicide and new employment was not being generated under the BJP’s watch, Pawar said.
“Hence, it is our responsibility, whoever is opposed to the BJP, whoever is against casteist ideology…There is a need to unite the (anti-BJP) forces to throw out this national calamity which has indulged in the sin of spreading the venom of casteism,” Pawar said. The former Union Agriculture Minister listed steps the previous Manmohan Singh-led UPA government took for farmers’ welfare.
He also expressed concerns over the issue of drought and farmers’ suicides and said the central and state governments were not looking into the causes of the problems. “Unfortunately, the reins of the country went into the hands of the wrong people four years ago…They do not have a sympathetic view of agrarian issues. Their decisions are not in the interest of farmers and agricultural labourers,” he said.
The crisis of drought was looming large in the state but there was no discussion on (resolving) the issue, he said. “Instead, the Ram temple dispute is being discussed. When they could not fulfil the promises they made, an attempt is being made to divert attention of people through the temple dispute,” he said.
AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah said the BJP-led government was against farmers. The 2019 general elections would be held on agrarian issues than on sentimental subjects like the Ram temple issue, he said. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, his NCP counterpart Jayant Patil, PWP leader Jayant Patil, Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and AIKS president Ashok Dhawale were present.