MUMBAI: Bharatiya Janata Party State President Raosaheb Danve is facing the heat from all parties over ‘abusive’ remarks about farmers. Finally, he expressed regret over his remarks and asserted that he has always been a farmers’ sympathiser.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Ashok Chavan said the Congress will launch a statewide stir from Friday against Danve’s “derogatory” comments. He demanded an apology from the BJP.
He said, “This is nothing but sheer arrogance. Power has gone to their heads. By abusing farmers, Danve has added insult to their injury.”
Danve said on Wednesday that farmers continued to complain despite the State government doling out sops to help tur growers, hit by dip in prices due to increased output. He was speaking at Jalna, in a function of inauguration of the office of Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Babanrao Lonikar.
Danve said the government is taking measures for farmers’ benefit. “The government has recently cleared a proposal to purchase one lakh tonnes of tur, yet they cry,” he said.
Danve later clarified that he did not use abusive language for farmers.
“Please do not link a conversation with a BJP worker to farmers. I have been in politics for 35 years on the basis of my commitment to farmers and I can understand their grievances,” Danve explained. He added, “I was trying to convince my party worker regarding the tur procurement issue. But, somehow, farmers are hurt and I express my regrets.”
Leader of Opposition in the State assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, demanded that the BJP clarify its stand over Danve’s statement. BJP functionaries are worried that the opposition parties and Shiv Sena would take advantage of Danve’s remarks. “It was not the right time for Danve to make such irresponsible statement as he is a party state chief. The party high command has taken cognizance of his statement and Danve will have to face it in future,” said a state BJP functionary on condition of anonymity.
NCP President Sharad Pawar has suggested to his party workers in sarcastic manner, that not to demand Danve’s resignation. “He is helping us from his party,” Pawar said. He was speaking to his party workers in Mumbai.
“The NCP has not realised that they are not in power, they are in opposition. The BJP is in power and they have started their preparation for the election and the NCP workers are still in a lethargic state,” Pawar said.