BJP lawmakers ride cycles to highlight farmers’ plight

July 16th, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Mumbai, July 16 (IANS) Two legislators of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) caused raised eyebrows when they bicycled their way to the Vidhan Bhavan here Wednesday for the opening day of Maharashtra assembly’s monsoon session to highlight the plight of farmers in “drought-hit” regions. Dilip M. Yelgaonkar from Khatav and Suresh D. Khade from Jath constituencies sought to highlight the plight of farmers in scarcity-hit regions of the state and demanded that Maharashtra be declared “drought-hit”.

The legislators carried placards on the bicycles and empty bags and bundles of straw - symbolizing the dry times as the state has been experiencing a long lull in the monsoon after an encouraging start early June.

Khatav is in Satara district while Jath is in Sangli district. Both constituencies fall in western Maharashtra where the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is in a commanding position.

The legislators’ effort Wednesday set the mood for the Shiv Sena-BJP saffron alliance’s aggressive mood vis-a-vis the Democratic Front government.

The alliance had made its intentions clear Tuesday by boycotting the customary tea party hosted by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on the eve of the session. The two parties said that with a drought-like situation confronting the state and the spate of farmers’ suicides, it was “improper” to attend the tea party.

Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance Tuesday also demanded the sacking of Revenue Minister Narayan Rane following court strictures against him in a land deal.

The opposition plans to seek the arrest of former minister of state D.B. Atram, who resigned last week after his name cropped up in a poaching case.

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