Mumbai: Shiv Sena has taken on the Maharashtra government on tur dal issue. The party through its mouthpiece Saamana, questioned the Devendra Fadnavis led Maharashtra government’s strategy in the purchase of Tur Dal from dealers. After the high procurement of Tur Dal in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had made a provision worth Rs 1000 crore of purchasing Tur Dal from farmers registered with National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (NAFED) till April 22. However, it is now being reported that many dealers purchased Tur Dal from farmers at a low cost and sold it at NAFED at a higher price. The entire purchase is reported to cost Rs 400 crore to the government.
Blaming the government to be responsible for the 400 crores Tur Dal ‘scam’, the editorial reads, “Is there a Tur Dal scam in Maharashtra? Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has himself agreed that the government has purchased Tur Dal worth 400 crores from dealers instead of farmers. Who is responsible for the scam? What was the government doing when their officials purchased Tur Dal from dealers instead of the farmers?”
Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the editorial further says, “The people of Maharashtra has brought the ‘transparent’BJP government into power. The BJP cannot blame the previous Congress-NCP government for the 400 crore scam.” Suspeting a bigger loss to the government, the editorial further read, “The 400 crores figure mentioned by Devendra Fadnavis is a government figure and it means that the scam may be worth 700-800 crores.”
The editorial also spoke about the loss to the farmers in the state due to the uneven rains on Sunday. Attacking the BJP government, the editorial said that, “The farmers cannot forecast weather but the government has departments that could do the weather forecast and warn about it. If the government would have warned the farmers about the uneven rains, the farmers could have saved their crops.”
Growth in Tur Dal procurement
Maharashtra has been the largest producer of Tur Dal in the last one year. Out of the 11 lakh tonnes of Tur Dal purchased in the country, around four lakh tonnes of Tur Dal was produced in Maharashtra. Stating that this was a record procurement of Tur Dal in the state in last one year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured the farmers of making a provision worth Rs 1000 crore of purchasing Tur Dal from farmers registered with NAFED until April 22.
However, reports suggest that the government purchased Tur Dal mostly from the dealers instead of the farmers and the farmers still have Tur Dal left with them. Speaking on the issue, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a rally had recently said that the government has received information about the Tur Dal being purchased by the traders and dealers instead of farmers. Warning the traders for selling Tur Dal to NAFED, the chief minister said that he will take strict criminal action against traders involved in such dealings.