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Maharashtra: NCP Chief Sharad Pawar Slams Centre Over Onion Export Duty, Manipur Violence, 'Misuse' Of Probe Agencies

Addressing a rally in Kolhapur, the home district of rebel NCP leader Hasan Mushrif who joined the Eknath Shinde government on July 2, Pawar said onion farmers in the state are not getting the right price for their efforts.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar
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Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Friday launched a scathing attack at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre, slamming it on issues ranging from the imposition of export duty on onions to the violence in Manipur and the alleged misuse of Central agencies against political opponents.

Addressing a rally in Kolhapur, the home district of rebel NCP leader Hasan Mushrif who joined the Eknath Shinde government on July 2, Pawar said onion farmers in the state are not getting the right price for their efforts.

"They need to get the amount spent by them on growing the crop. If that has to happen, onions have to be exported across the world. (But) the Modi government has imposed a steep duty of 40 per cent and after that Indian onions do not get customers. This led to the fall in the price of onions," Pawar said.

Pawar said, as agriculture minister (in the Congress-led UPA government between 2004 and 2014) he never imposed export duty on onions and ensured the crop was exported.

"The government's stand is to create hindrances to whatever the farmers produce," Pawar said.

Farmers and traders have been protesting since Monday in Nashik over the Centre's decision on August 19 to impose 40 per cent export duty on onions till December 31, which they claim will create a glut in the domestic market and bring about a crash in prices.

He also attacked the Centre for bringing in three contentious farm laws, that were withdrawn later after massive protests centred around Delhi, and said no government has insulted farmers more than the present dispensation.

He said two women were paraded naked amid the violence that broke out in Manipur (in early May) but those who have power are not using it to save them.

He said investments coming to Maharashtra are going to Gujarat, which was driving away employment opportunities of the youth here.

Asserting that "power is being used to oppress opponents", Pawar cited the examples of his party colleagues Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh and Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut.

All three have been to jail amid probe in various cases and are currently out on bail.

-With PTI Input

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