Opposition members on Friday alleged in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly that farmers in Sangli district of the state were being asked to mention their caste on a Union government’s online portal for the purchase of fertilisers, prompting Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to assure rectification in the system.
Shinde said the central government will be asked to remove the column on the portal where farmers are required to mention their caste.
His intervention came after Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar raised the issue in the Lower House of the state legislature, saying that farmers in Sangli were being asked to mention their caste before the purchase of fertilisers through the Centre’s portal.
In the updated version of the portal, there is a category for buyers where their caste is asked, he said.
To this, Congress MLA Prithviraj Chavan said in that case this system will not be restricted to farmers in Sangli alone and it will be applicable for other parts of the state as well.
The former chief minister demanded the state government to clarify.
Stating that the portal is operated by the central government, senior minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the column that asks for the caste of the farmers will be deleted.
“The error will be rectified,” he said.
Mungantiwar criticised the Opposition for making a mountain out of a molehill.
Congress leader Nana Patole took a strong objection to Mungantiwar’s remarks and targeted the government for asking farmers their caste before supplying urea and fertilisers to them.
As the two senior legislators were engaged in a verbal duel, Shinde intervened saying the central government will be asked to remove the caste column from the portal.
He alleged that the Opposition parties do not have anything to target the state government after it took several positive decisions for farmers in the budget presented on Thursday.