Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday said that Mongolia was “luckier than Maharashtra” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an aid of $1 billion while in that country.
“In an extremely generous gesture, Modi has extended the amount to Mongolia for financing basic infrastructure there,” the Shiv Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.
However, $1 billion is not a small amount and when converted to Indian rupees, the figure would shake the very souls of the Maharashtra farmers who have committed suicide, it said.
“The farmers in Maharashtra (who) continue to be crushed under debts from banks and private moneylenders and reel under nature’s onslaught await aid from the government,” the Sena said.
As the farmers gasp for help, the union agriculture minister made it clear that the government had no plans to provide aid to the dying farmers in the state.
“Compared to Maharashtra, the people of Mongolia can be termed as more fortunate… The PM has announced an aid of $1 billion and revealed a glimpse of India’s financial might,” it noted.
Pointing out that in the past, Modi had helped even other smaller, developing neighbours, the Sena said there was nothing wrong in doling out “pocket money” occasionally to poor neighbours.
“But where was the need to give money to Mongolia? The dollar is strengthening vis-a-vis Indian rupee and we are under World Bank debts…”
It said Mongolia was a distant third neighbour (with China in between), enjoys 60 years of good relations with India though it became a democracy only 25 years ago.
But it is imperative that the prime minister exhibits the same generosity for the Maharashtra’s farmers and those affected by the upcoming Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Ratnagiri, the edit said.
“We request the central and state governments to resolve the long-pending issue of farmland suicides and other matters at the earliest,” the Saamana urged.