Onion farmers in Maharashtra are going through a very difficult phase. Despite a good production of onions this year, farmers are not getting good rates for their onions. Few onion farmers have also committed suicide as it was difficult for them to repay the loan money.
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray while speaking to farmers in Nashik, Maharashtra on Wednesday provoked them to take the law into their hands.
While addressing a rally in Nashik, Raj Thackeray has said that “ I met the onion farmers, I told them if you are not getting decent rates for your onions then please do not throw them on the streets, whichever minister you see, hit them with these onions… hit them so hard that minister should become unconscious. Then, break the onion and place the onion under his nose to regain his consciousness… once he regains consciousness then hit him again”.
Raj Thackeray's open provocation has alerted government. Thackeray claims that the government has taken note of his remark.
Though on December 19 Maharashtra cabinet has approved Rs 150 crores as a relief to onion farmers who had to sell their products at very low prices. Also, as an ex gratia payment at the rate of Rs 200 per quintal (with an upper limit of 200 quintals per onion farmers) for all the onion sold in the period November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018.
Even though Fadnavis government has announced relief for farmers but Raj Thackeray is not happy on this. He said, “I am not happy with just Rs 200 relief for farmers, it should have been more”.
In a current scenario, onion is one of the hottest issues in Maharashtra politics. Farmers are staging the protest at many places. There is unrest among the onion farmers as they are forced to sell their produce at very low rates.
Thackeray's party MNS’s graph has been drastically going down since 2014. After conceding defeats in almost all the election post-2014, Raj wants to rebuild his party. For this, he has been visiting various parts of the states and meeting his cadre.
The MNS chief is eager to re-establish his footprint in Maharashtra politics. Low prices of onion is one such issue which Thackeray believes can hit the present government hard.