A farmer from Beed district in Maharashtra has offered to do what neither the Shiv Sena nor the BJP have been able to despite lakhs of farmers struggling to deal with mounting debts and crops destroyed by floods - name a Chief Minister. Shrikant Vishnu Gadale, a resident of Wadmauli village, wrote to Maharashtra Governor Bhagar Singh Koshyar on Thursday, asking to be made Chief Minister till the squabbling allies sorted out their differences.
In his letter Shrikant Gadale, a farmer, said crops had been heavily damaged by the floods that swept the state in August and the state needed a functioning government as soon as possible to provide help to farmers in distress.
"Natural calamities (unseasonal rains) have hampered ready-to-harvest crops in the state. The farmers are tense over these calamities. At a time when farmers are suffering, the Shiv Sena and the BJP are unable to resolve the issue of holding Chief Minister's post," he wrote in Marathi.
"Hence, till the issue is resolved, the governor should hand over the responsibility of Chief Minister's post to me," Gadale said, adding, "I will solve the problems of farmers and give them justice".
#Maharashtra: Shrikant V Gadale, a farmer from Beed Dist. has written to the Governor stating,"till the time matter of CM post is sorted out,I should be made CM. It is a tough time for farmers due to crop damage after untimely rains.A govt in the state is needed at the earliest." pic.twitter.com/oR3PH1370V-ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2019
Farmer issues emerged as a key issue in the run-up to the election on October 21. Heavy rain in August led to widespread flooding and destruction of over four lakh hectares of agricultural fields.
Farmer suicides were also a flashpoint, with one farmer in Buldhana district of the state killing himself over loans of Rs 2 lakh. His body was found clothed in a BJP t-shirt with the caption "punha aaluya aaple sarkar (bring our government back to power)".
The Sena and the BJP contested the election together and emerged with 161 seats in the 288-member house. However, government formation has been stalled with the Sena refusing to budge on its "50:50" demand and has also called for the Chief Minister's post to be rotated between the parties after 2.5 years.
In the latest round of post-poll alliance talks, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who has been relentless in his criticism of the BJP, met opposition leader and NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday. Mr Raut described the visit as a courtesy call but it is worth noting that a tie-up between the Sena and the NCP will leave the BJP in the minority.
Meanwhile, the Beed farmer-who-would-be-Chief-Minister also said that if the administration did not take note of his letter, he would protest through "democratic means".
(With inputs from ANI)
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