Congress Leader Calls Shiv Sena's Protest Against Crop Insurance Firms 'Nautanki'

Congress Leader Calls Shiv Sena's Protest Against Crop Insurance Firms 'Nautanki'

Mumbai: Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar Saturday slammed the Shiv Sena for announcing a protest march against crop insurance companies next week.

Terming it a "nautanki" (farce) on the eve of the Assembly elections, Wadettiwar said the Sena was trying to play the role of the opposition even as it remains in the BJP-led ruling alliance in the state.

"Why does the Shiv Sena want to play the opposition's role despite being in government? Sena ministers stay mum in cabinet meetings and then talk of organising morchas outside to highlight farmers issues. This is nothing but nautanki," he said in a statement.

Stressing that the ruling party needs to give directives to the official machinery to expedite works of public interest, he added, "Since Shiv Sena has no say in governance and administration, it is organising morchas like opposition parties."

"If companies are not expeditiously paying out crop insurance claims, they can be tackled at the government level. But, since the Shiv Sena cannot do that, it is resorting to stunts like protest morchas," Wadettiwar said.

He accused the state government of being hand in glove with insurance companies who he claimed were delaying claims payout.

"If the Shiv Sena had concern for farmers, the party would have pulled out of the government," he said. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, earlier this week, had said his party will take out a protest march on July 17 against insurance companies to seek expeditious clearance of farmers' claims.

The protest march, to be held at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) where offices of several insurance companies are located, will be a warning to these firms to pay the claims of cultivators at the earliest, he had said.

"We also demand an independent Agriculture Commission with powers to deal with agriculture-related issues. The commission should be empowered to rectify loopholes in various schemes meant for the agriculture sector, since governments come and go but the official machinery remains the same," he had said.

"If the warning doesn't work, we will talk to the insurance companies in the language of the Shiv Sena," he had said.

He also demanded that banks publish names of the farmers whose loans were waived under the government's scheme.