Oppn has been demanding immediate relief to farmers saying that Bt cotton seed “BG II” has failed to protect cotton from pink bollworm attack. The Maharashtra government on Wednesday found itself cornered in the Legislative Assembly after it came to fore that officials have failed to brief Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar on the issue of pink bollworm infestation in cotton crop. Speaker Haribhau Bagde deferred the Calling Attention Motion on the issue raised by Opposition MLAs citing the lack of information from officers, which led to an uproar. Opposition has been demanding immediate relief to farmers saying that Bt cotton seed “BG II” has failed to protect cotton from the pink bollworm attack in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions. Opposition members alleged that though the government was aware that BG II seed lacked potential to prevent pink bollworm infestation it purposefully didn’t act as it “wanted private seed-producing companies to be benefitted”.
The government said the production of cotton is on the rise though it has acknowledged the problem. It also said that farmers will be compensated for the loss. Against this backdrop, over 69 MLAs of the 288-member Assembly had raised the calling attention motion demanding a detailed discussion and government’s response on the issue. However, Speaker Bagde announced postponement of the motion citing the lack of information from officers, prompting the Opposition to demand an apology from the government which it alleged is “shielding” private seed producers.