Mumbai: The Shiv Sena faction headed by Uddhav Thackeray on Friday dubbed the Maharashtra government’s Budget 2023-24 as ‘gajar halwa’, and accused the Eknath Shinde-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dispensation of peddling false dreams in an election year by showering sops on people.
In its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, the party said Deputy Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who presented the budget in the state Assembly on Thursday, showered assurances but did not show generosity in announcing compensation to farmers who suffered losses due to unseasonal rains earlier this week.
Fadnavis, who is also the state Finance Minister, presented the Shinde government’s maiden budget, in which it proposed Rs 6,000 assistance to farmers and Re 1 crop insurance scheme while also offering relief in professional tax to working women, a 50 percent discount on ticket fares in state-run buses to women and a new scheme for the girl child.
Elections are due in various civic bodies in the state, including the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The state Assembly elections would be due in October 2024. Referring to the announcement of paying Rs 6,000 to farmers under the ‘Namo Shetkari Mahasanman Nidhi’ to supplement the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Nidhi Yojana, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) said the budget did not speak about the compensation to farmers who lost their crop to hailstorm and unseasonal rains.
Large parts of the state witnessed unseasonal rains resulting in damage to standing crops. “The budget is a ‘gajar halwa’ (sweet dish made of carrots) of announcements that are aimed at misleading people,” the party said.
Fadnavis had said in the Assembly that the budget was based on five major goals or ‘Panchamrut’ sustainable farming-prosperous farmers; inclusive development of all sections of society, including women, tribals, backward classes and OBCs; development of infrastructure with substantial capital investment; employment generation for competent, skilled and employable youth as well as environment-friendly development.
Taking a dig at the deputy CM, the Sena (UBT) said the intensity of Fadnavis’ assurances was more than the unseasonal rain and hailstorm that hit the majority of the state two days back.
“Why didn’t the finance minister show generosity in giving compensation for the crops damaged due to unseasonal rains?” the party asked in the editorial, adding that the only solution to the farm produce is to give it a price based on cost of production. “This year’s budget shows that the state government’s policy is to peddle false dreams to farmers and people by showering sops on them,” it alleged.