Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday said that there are no permanent enemies and friends in politics adding that his faction joined the alliance of BJP and Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena to solve the problems of the people in the state.
While addressing a public rally in Beed, Ajit Pawar said, “We have joined Mahayuti (Ajit Pawar’s alliance with BJP, Shinde-led Sena ) to solve the problems of the people. We took this decision for the development of the state. In politics, there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends. We want to tell everyone in Maharashtra that even though we are in the Mahayuti alliance, it is our duty to protect people of all castes and religions.”
“We will always work for the benefit of the farmers. Farming does not happen without water in the fields. I have done a lot of work when I was the Water Resources in the state,” he added.
Ajit Pawar said that he asked state agriculture minister Dhananjay Munde to visit Delhi and meet key central leaders over the recent issue on onions in the state.
“When the onion issue came up, many people got calls. The opposition always gives wrong information. I asked Dhananjay to go to Delhi. Dhananjay went and requested maximum help. Home Minister Amit Shah immediately bought 2 lakh metric tonnes of onion at Rs 24 per kg,” he said.
Earlier Maharashtra Congress Chief Nana Patole termed the Central government’s recent decision to raise 40 per cent export duty on onions as “anti-farmer.”
“They are lying to our farmers. My question is to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Piyush Goyal, Why do you raise the export tax? Onions get stale and if the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India doesn’t buy them immediately, farmers will be at a loss,” Mr Patole said.
Recently, the Central government imposed a 40 per cent export duty on the kitchen staple which prompted onion farmers in the state to stage a protest in Maharashtra’s Nashik district on Monday.
A notification issued by the Finance Ministry on August 19 stated that they have imposed a 40 per cent export duty on onions till December 31, 2023.
The export duty comes amid reports that onion prices are likely to rise in September. Earlier on August 11, the central government started releasing the staple vegetable from its buffer stock.
The central government had earlier decided it would maintain 3 lakh tonne of onions in the 2023-24 season as buffer stock. In 2022-23, the government maintained 2.51 lakh tonne onion as buffer stock.
Buffer stock is maintained to meet any exigencies and for price stabilization, if rates go up significantly during the lean supply season.
The central government started the procurement of an additional two lakh tonnes of onion from farmers in Maharashtra on Tuesday.
The announcement was made at a meeting of Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde and Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in Delhi on Tuesday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)