Satara. 14 March 2008.
In 27th incident of its kind in the last 2 weeks, another Gram Panchaayat, this time in Maharashtra’s Satara District, has refused to believe that the Rs. 60,000 Crore farmer loan-waiver is a 2008-09 Union Budget provision and not the “total money spent in IPL auctions”.
Voicing his fears, Satara’s Teenshet village Sarpanch Baburao Phanse said – “You must be kidding! Why would government suddenly waive our loans, especially when they are putting so much money in Cricket.” A nation-wide rural survey by independent agency ISCKON-JAM confirms that Baburao is not alone in thinking so and most of the villagers prove their point by showing full-page advertisements featuring BCCI Chief (and coincidentally, Union Agriculture Minister) Sharad Pawar alongside the big number. “He is the Cricket Chief, ain’t he!?”, screams an enthusiastic villager in Andhra Pradesh, before continuing to abuse Pawar for “not having a single Hyderabadi Cricketer in the ODI team.”
Visibly hurt by the useless controversy surrounding his otherwise clean-as-veshti budget, Finance Minister P. Chidambram promised opposition parties in Lok Sabha today that he will issue an unequivocal clarification as soon as the left parties make up their mind to pull the government down. Terming it as a “tit-for-tat” mental strategy to tame the left, Chidambram added – “They are not the only ones who can threaten!” And as for farmers confusing loan-waiver with IPL, Chidambram said – “In hindsight, that’s not a bad idea – launching a cricket league of our own to set-off more loans.”
Just in: Amitabh Bachchan has moved a legal notice in Mumbai High Court claiming that ABCL is a farming company and as promised in the budget, his debt of Rs. 1000 Crore be waived with immediate effect.