Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Dec 2017 11:44:28

IT IS most unfortunate that a man of the stature of Mr. Sharad Pawar, former Union Minister and President of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), makes an appeal to farmers not to pay any Government bills, be it the electricity charges or the repayment of loans taken from cooperative credit societies. Making this appeal, Mr. Pawar said at a rally in Nagpur that the Maharashtra Government had not implemented its loan-waiver scheme fully, and therefore the farmers should hit back by not making any payments to the Government. This appeal is unfortunate and also based on falsehood that the Maharashtra Government headed by Mr. Devendra Fadnavis has not implemented the loan waiver scheme. It does not go well with a man of the stature of Mr. Sharad Pawar to make such an appeal with ulterior political motive based on utter falsehood. When a leader of national stature makes such an appeal, he is only bringing down the level of public discourse.

Mr. Pawar’s falsehood was exposed, however, in no time as the Maharashtra State Government issued details of what it has done on the loan waiver front and how many farmers have actually got benefitted from its measures. Almost simultaneously as Mr. Pawar made that politically-motivated appeal did the Maharashtra Government issue details of its successful loan waiver activity. Thus, Mr. Pawar stood exposed in no time.

Let alone this counter-attack by the Maharashtra Government, it is unfortunate that a man of the stature of Mr. Sharad Pawar desired to foist falsehood on the people in so blatant a manner. A resort to such a tactic exposes how desperate Mr. Sharad Pawar has become because of the failure of his politics in the past three years since the Devendra Fadnavis Government took over in Maharashtra. With only two years left for the next electoral clash, it is only natural that Opposition parties launch a do-or-die sort of campaign to wrest power. Even if we grant such an effort as a natural response of Opposition parties, we would never subscribe to any attempt to foist falsehood on an unsuspecting electorate. For, that tantamounts to indulgence in cheating.

When the national economy is facing serious challenges, when the Government is making most sincere efforts to refurbish the economy, it is unfortunate that some political leaders indulge in making appeals to people not to pay any bills or repay loan dues. Such appeals may be helpful to those leaders in their political moves, but are actually detrimental to national interest. Even if a small proportion of the electorate decided to follow Mr. Pawar’s appeal, it may have an adverse impact on the economy. In the long run, it would affect the overall economic condition not just of one State but also of the nation subsequently.

It is absolutely uncalled for that such appeals are made aimed at disturbing the smooth flow of administrative work and economic activity. Mr. Pawar is a seasoned administrator himself and should have understood the reality correctly. But he seems to have chosen to follow a destructive path that would do no good to anybody in the short or long run. Perhaps, in his political desperation, Mr. Pawar is following a disastrous path that would take his party also to doom in due course of time.

It is all right for Opposition to kick up a political frenzy when elections draw nearer. Yet, it is absolutely uncouth to make such appeals aimed at instigating common people, especially the farmers and rural folks, not to pay any Government bills and loan-dues. There is no doubt that such appeals will only boomerang on the instigators rather than hit the Government adversely. That Mr. Pawar has refused to see this reality also means he has begun treading a dangerous path in his political career and public life. He is doing so much to his own peril.