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Farmers agitation takes violent turn, 5 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An agitation by sugarcane farmers, who were demanding an increase in the fair and remunerative price (FRP), took a violent turn in Shevgaon region on Wednesday with police firing plastic bullets, lobbing teargas and resorting to lathi charges to rein in restive protesters. Two farmers, three police officers were injured in firing and stone pelting and two constables were seriously injured.The agitation was led by the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and other farmer outfits. Ahmednagar police have invoked Section 144 in seven villages after firing plastic bullets, tear gas and lathi charge. Police have registered offences against 13 farmers in this incident.Meanwhile, Minister for cooperation Subhash Deshmukh has appealed farmers’ organisations to sort out issues through talks. Deshmukh stated that Centre government already has announced fair and remunerative price for sugarcane which Rs 250 more than last year.Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) leader and Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti when contacted blamed it on administration and sugar factories. He said that despite the fact that farmers in and around Gangamai Sugar factory in Shevgaon, had gathered in a peaceful manner and have been agitating for last six days, police took action against leaders at wee hours, which agitated the farmers and it resulted in worsening the situation. He said that while government asks to resolve the matter peacefully, while the police is going hard on the protesters. Shetti said Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s western Maharashtra president Prakashtatya Balwadkar along with Amar Kadam and local workers were arrested by police in wee hours.Meanwhile, leader of Opposition in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has criticised the state government for wrongly handling the farmers’ agitation. Demanding an inquiry in to police firing at agitating farmers, Vikhe-Patil also demanded action against those involved in it.According to statement issued by Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police two farmers Uddhav Mapari and Baburao Dukare have been injured while two constables have been seriously injured. According to police statement farmers had resorted to rasta roko last week but withdrew it after discussions with local revenue officials. Police told that on Wednesday agitators resorted to stone pelting, setting ablaze vehicles while led to lathi charge, use of tear gas and plastic bullets and pump action gun.

Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana snaps ties with NDA over farmers’ issues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), headed by MP Raju Shetti, today announced snapping of ties with the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra, while accusing the NDA of failing to honour its promises made to the farmers.The decision to pull out of the NDA and the ‘Mahayuti’ (grand alliance) in the state was taken during a state-level executive meeting of the party here.However, since the SSS has only one MP and no MLA in the state, the decision will not destabilise any of the governments.”We had supported the NDA and Mahayuti before the 2014 elections, as it promised the minimum support price for crops. However, in all these years, they have failed to honour their promises,” Shetti said.”At the insistence of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, we had become a constituent in the NDA and later, a part of the Mahayuti, but with certain riders and conditions.”However, over the last three-and-a-half years, we have been disillusioned as all the promises made to the farmers by the Centre and the state government in the election manifesto have failed to see the light of the day,” he added.Shetti said the SSS had committed a “grave mistake” by extending support to the NDA.”Since we had committed a grave mistake of lending support to these governments, I conducted an ‘atmaklesh’ (inflicting pain on oneself) yatra and now, we have decided to snap the ties with both the NDA and Mahayuti,” he said.”However, we have decided to part ways as we do not want to compromise on our principles and on the farmers’ cause,” he added.Shetti said the reason behind joining the NDA was simple as the SSS, which agitated for the farmers on the streets, wanted to be part of the decision-making body (government), so that ‘acche din’ (good days) could be brought for the farmers.”We waited for three-and-a-half years. We were patient. But, when we realised that the objective with which we had joined politics was not being fulfilled, we could not sit idle,” he added.Shetti argued that since the government had failed to give MSP equal to 1.5 times the input costs and a total farm loan waiver), the SSS had decided to pull out of the NDA and Mahayuti.”Narendra Modi, who was the NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, had promised in his campaign speech at Miraj in Sangli (in Maharashtra) to give the minimum support price as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission. However, the farmers have been disillusioned and betrayed,” he said.He added that several discussions took place on the issue in Parliament, but they were inconclusive.”When some of our associates went to the Supreme Court and filed a writ petition, questioning why the promises made in the election manifesto were not honoured, the government filed an affidavit stating that MSP equal to 1.5 times the input costs could not be given,” Shetti said, adding that it showed that the ruling dispensation had betrayed the farmers.He added that the SSS drew the society’s flak for not pulling out of the government, but it was patient enough and gave time to the governments to act on their promises.”In the last three-and-a-half years, due to the policies of the government, the farm loan burden as well as farmer suicides increased, the agricultural growth became negative and the import of agriculture produce from other countries went up,” he said, adding that the farmers were still waiting for the subsidy on drip irrigation and the power connection promised to them was also yet to come.Shetti alleged that the government even tried to “sabotage” the farmers’ agitation in Maharashtra, demanding a total farm loan waiver.He said to press for the two demands — MSP and farm loan waiver — the SSS would hold a farmers’ agitation at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in November, where over 150 organisations from across the country would take part.He added that an SSS delegation would meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis soon and communicate the decision to him officially.Earlier this month, the SSS had expelled Maharashtra Minister of State for Agriculture Sadabhau Khot, who was a party MLC, for “anti-party activities”.For the last several months, the outfit had been hinting at snapping the ties with the government over the farmers’ issues.”We have now decided that we will keep a safe distance from all the political parties, will intensify the farmers’ agitation and will fight only for the farmers,” said Shetti.

34 farmer suicides reported in Marathwada within eight days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thirty-four farmers committed suicide in Marathwada region of Maharashtra in the last eight days, a government report said today. The region has seen below-average rainfall this monsoon so far. Data compiled by the Aurangabad Divisional Commissioner showed that 34 farmers ended their lives in eight districts of Marathwada during last eight days, though the cause has not be ascertained in every case yet. As many as 580 farmer suicides have been reported in Marathwada till August 15 since January 1, Beed district topping the list at 107 suicides, the report said. It also mentioned that kharif crops in the region are in trouble because of lack of rains. Farmers in Marathwada are fearing crop losses due to a dry spell of the last fortnight. Met officials had predicted good showers after August 15, but the rainfall in the last two days is scattered, said Yogesh Pande, spokesperson of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna, a farmer-centric political outfit. The state agriculture department has said that of the 355 tehsils in Maharashtra, 223 have not even received 75 per cent of average rainfall till August 15.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha minister Khot appears before his party’s inquiry panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra minister Sadabhau Khot today appeared before an inquiry committee set up by his outfit Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) to look into complaints made against him by its workers, and hinted at going separate ways. Separately, speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Khot said he was being “sidelined” in the party and maintained a “split” looks imminent in the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS), an ally of the BJP-led NDA. Talking to(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP ally to begin pro-farmer exercise from Mandsaur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP ally and farmers’ leader Raju Shetti has attacked the government for not doing enough for the community and said he will start a nationwide programme from July 7 in Mandsaur, which recently witnessed violent protests by farmers. The Lok Sabha member who was at the forefront of the recent farmers agitation in Maharashtra said leaders of over 100 farmers’ bodies will join him in the exercise which will end on October 2 in Champaran. October 2 is Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary and Champaran in Bihar was the site of his pro-farmers agitation against the then British rule. The Swabhimani Paksha leader said the Union government had not done enough for farmers. He said a loan-waiver for farmers and implementation of the Swaminathan report are his main demands. He had earlier met JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, who has been working to organise a bigger front against the BJP over issues of farmers. Shetti, however, appeared to have tampered his stand after earlier threatening to reconsider his ties with the BJP. He joined the BJP leaders in the nomination-filing exercise of the NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind. Asked if continued to be part of the NDA, he said, “As of now I am.” To a question about support of opposition parties to his programme, he said everybody is welcome to extend their support to his pro-farmers programme. He had earlier accused the BJP-ruled Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh governments of mishandling the farmers’ issue.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Announce complete farm loan waiver to avoid mid-term polls:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Virtually putting its ruling ally in Maharashtra on notice, the Shiv Sena today asked the BJP to announce a “complete farm loan waiver” if it wanted to avoid a mid-term election in the state. Toughening of stand by the Sena at a time when the Devendra Fadnavis government is on the backfoot due to farmers’ protests assumes significance amid reports that the BJP is weighing its options vis-a-vis an early Assembly election. The BJP-led NDA government was formed in the state in October, 2014. Though the chief minister had announced a loan waiver for the small and marginal farmers amid a farmers’ protest, the Sena had been insisting on a “complete farm loan waiver”. Sena MP Sanjay Raut today told a Marathi news channel that the party will not be affected if it relinquished power. “We will not lose anything and it will not affect us even if we relinquish power. We are better prepared than the BJP in case of a mid-term election. If the government wishes to avoid it, it should immediately announce a complete farm loan waiver,” he said. Asserting that the Sena would withdraw from the government “in no time” if it wanted to, Raut asked the BJP to clearly state that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party’s stand on various issues was indeed “causing anguish” within the saffron party. “Take it as our warning…announce a complete (farm) loan waiver or we will not take much time to throttle the government,” he said. The Rajya Sabha member accused Fadnavis of playing “dirty politics” over the issue of farm loan waiver. “It is the chief minister who created a rift between (Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief) Raju Shetti and (Minister of state for Agriculture) Sadabhau Khot,” he alleged. Referring to Fadnavis’ statement that the government will withdraw the cases only against the protesting farmers and not the others, Raut asked, “Can a worker of a political party also not be a farmer?” Replying to a query on the upcoming presidential polls, the Sena MP said his party had no intention of putting pressure on the BJP when the latter proposed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s name for the country’s top constitutional post. Referring to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s “reluctance” to throw his hat in the ring for the presidential polls, Raut said, “Pawar does not seem to have agreed on the proposal, but if he files nomination, we will see.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha farmer agitation: Fadnavis asks ministers to highlight Rs 30,000 crore loan waiver

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has asked his ministers not to be defensive on the issue of farmers’ agitation and counter the opposition. He also asked the ministers to reach out to the people while taking up the government’s decision to waive crop loan worth Rs 30,000 crore and concentrate on further strengthening the party organisation.Fadnavis at a marathon meeting held at his official residence Varsha on Tuesday night wanted ministers to expose allies including Shiv Sena and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party for politicising the farmers’ agitation to gain mileage.Besides, Fadnavis asked ministers to explain to the farmers the government’s move to finalize an ambitious plan of disbursement of farm loan of over Rs 52,000 crore during current year. The Maharashtra minister of housing Prakash Mehta told DNA, the Chief Minister reviewed the ongoing farmer outreach programme involving the ministers and party office bearers. The emphasis is on the government’s endeavour to solve the agrarian crisis and ensure sustainable development. The government will waive loan worth Rs 30,000 crore.Besides, CM asked to make further concentrate on strengthening of the party organisation at the level of 90,000 booths across the state. The focus will also be given to increase membership.’’Mehta said the chief minister’s message was the Team BJP can take on the divided opposition by further reaching out to the people and it can face any eventuality including an early assembly election in the state. ‘’CM wanted that the government and party organisation can put up a united face to take on opponents,’’ he added.Fadnavis gave the ground-level situation of the ongoing farmers agitation and the bandh organised on June 5. He pointed out that the involvement of political parties was more than the farmers and the offences registered by the police were largely against the political activists.Both the government and party organisation will soon launch publicity campaign to highlight their ‘pro-development, pro people’ decisions.

Maharashtra Farmers’ Strike: On day 6, protesters seal govt offices

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra farmers strike entered sixth day today despite chief minister Devendra Fadnavis reiterating the government’s move to waive crop loan worth Rs 30,000 crore before October 31.The agitating farmers sealed the entrance of new administrative building of the Sangli district collector while in Puntambe Ahmednagar district they sealed the offices village panchayat, post office and circle office.Farmers threw vegetables in front of the residence of Amravati division commissioner and the district collector. The police arrested 20 farmers in this connection.
ALSO READ Maharashtra farmers’ strike: CM pledges ‘biggest ever loan package’, but conditions applyFarmers in Kolhapur district sealed the Talathi office at Shiye village and similar incident was reported in Chandwad taluka of Nashik district.In Nashik, which has now become the centre of activity for the agitating farmers, the strike has adversely impacted the transactions in 15 marketing committee and 20 sub committees. The Lasalgaon market committee, which is known for onion trade, wore a deserted look due to lack of arrival of onions from the farmers.However, the participation of farmers was waning as they were getting ready for sowing operation.Incidentally, activists of ruling Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and Congress and NCP were actively involved in the agitation.Prices of fruits and vegetables have surged in Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Pune, Nashik due to low arrival.Kailash Tejani, president of Wholesale Traders Association at Vashi APMC said about 300 truckloads of vegetables arrived against the average 450-500 trucks. ‘’Ninety per cent supply is from Gujarat and Karnataka. The rates were marginally increased,’’ he addded.Nasaheb Patil,, chairman of Nashik APMC informed that the committee is incurring a huge loss as the market is shut for last six days. “Government needs to find out a tangible solution,” he noted.

Maha farmers’ stir enters 6th day, vegetable prices soar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The farmers’ strike in Maharashtra entered the sixth day today, with prices of vegetables shooting up in various markets due to short supply. Farmers are on the warpath since June 1 for demands including loan waiver and higher minimum support prices. Despite the government announcing a loan waiver for marginal farmers on Saturday, the agitation has continued. In Pune’s Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), the inflow of vegetables and fruits was only about 50 per cent today, resulting in their prices going up by three to five times, sources said. The workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna held protests outside the collector’s office in Sangli and 20 of them were taken into custody by police. The rural economy has been affected in Nashik where apart from farmers, potters, tempo drivers and others working in allied fields are losing their jobs, sources said. The daily business of around Rs 20-25 crore in 17 major APMCs in Nashik and other smaller market committees has come to a standstill, they added. Farmers locked the offices of talathi (revenue officer) in some villages of Kolhapur and Nashik districts. In Ahmednagar district, the inflow of vegetables was mere 1 per cent and there was no milk collection, increasing the woes of the people, sources said. In the district’s Puntamba village, the agitating farmers threw vegetables outside the divisional commissioner’s office. In Amravati too the protesters dumped vegetables outside the district collector’s office. Police took into custody six workers of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna in Amaravati. Meanwhile, sources said the farmers’ strike in Maharashtra has benefited traders from Surat, Belgaum, Indore and Delhi as the Vasai-Virar region is witnessing an influx of agricultural produce from Surat. The Vasai-Virar region has several vegetable markets which usually get the produce from Nashik, Junnar and Vashi. The farmers’ strike has stopped the flow of vegetables from Maharashtra. “Truck drivers are scared of violent protests. Traders from Surat, Delhi, Indore and Belgaum have thus taken advantage of the strike, increased the prices and the inflow of vegetables in the Vashi APMC has increased by around 30 per cent,” an official from the cooperatives department said. “From Vashi APMC, the produce gets distributed in the markets of Vasai-Virar. The prices of vegetables are fluctuating by around 15-20 per cent in most APMCs,” the official added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha farmers’ stir: Mixed response, some APMCs get fresh stock

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Call for ‘Maharashtra bandh’ (shut- down) today during the ongoing farmers’ strike received a partial response, with trucks carrying vegetables arriving in big markets like Pune and Navi Mumbai. All the 15 Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) in Nashik district remained closed. A total bandh was observed in Puntamba in Ahmednagar district, the epicentre of strike. However, in Solapur in western Maharashtra, APMCs remained open where farmers were seen bringing the produce. About 450 trucks carrying vegetables arrived in Navi Mumbai market, the main supplier to Mumbai, today, against around 1,000 trucks on a normal business day. In Pune APMC, some 400 trucks, or 30 per cent of daily average, arrived. In Dhule APMC inflow of goods was normal, APMC sources said. Dhananjay Jadhav, member of the coordinating body of farmers based in Puntamba, said the strike had been called off as the government accepted 70 per cent of demands. “We have no connection whatsoever with the strike which is continuing,” he said. In Sangamner in Ahmednagar district, farmers in Kolhewadi burnt an effigy of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Farmers in Chandwad tehsil of Nashik held a blockade on Manmad-Chandwad road. Some protesters threw onions on the road in Yeola tehsil of Nashik district. Farmers on bullock carts blocked the Nashik-Niphad-Chandwad road. Solapur-Malegaon road and Nagpur-Tuljapur highway were also blocked by farmers. In Vadgaon, Kolhapur district, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna workers got into altercation with traders who refused to observe bandh. Police provided `Z’ category security to milk tankers coming to Mumbai from Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara via the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Meanwhile, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna MP Raju Shetti said the party will soon decide whether to quit the BJP-led government in the state. “I regret supporting the BJP government. A meeting of party’s working committee will be called and decision on whether to pull out will be taken,” Shetti said in Kolhapur. Farmers are on the warpath since June 1 for demands including loan waiver and higher minimum support prices. Despite the government announcing a loan waiver for marginal farmers on Saturday, the agitation has continued. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan today demanded a special session of legislature to discuss the situation. Loan waiver for farmers with marginal land holding will do no good as most farmers in `suicide belts’ of Vidarbha and Marathwada have more than five acres of land, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Farmers’ stir continues on day 4, firm on Maha bandh tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the agitation of farmers in Maharashtra continued for the fourth day today and the supply of vegetables and milk remained largely hit, farmers’ outfits said they were firm on going ahead with the ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow, excluding Mumbai. The BJP’s ruling partner the Shiv Sena also extended its support to the ‘bandh’ call. The prices of vegetables and fruits have been on an upward path in cities, including Mumbai, due to the drastic fall in supplies from key production centres like Nashik and Ahmednagar. Farmers, who have been on war path since June 1 for their demands, including waiver of farm loan and other concessions like lower power tariff, continued the agitation for the fourth day today in parts of Maharashtra, including Nashik and Ahmednagar, which have become nerve centres of the protest. A meeting of farmers’ representatives from different parts of the state under the aegis of the Kisan Kranti Morcha (KKM), that is spearheading the agitation, was held at the agriculture produce market committee in Nashik this afternoon. During the meeting several resolutions were passed and a decision to go ahead with the Maharashtra bandh (excluding Mumbai) was taken. The call for the bandh was given two days back. “The Kisan Kranti Morcha committee has given a call for ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow, excluding Mumbai,” convener of the committee, Chandrakant Bankar, said. A farmer leader from Nashik said, “The call for Maharashtra bandh had already been given, but it was suspended after a delegation of farmers met the chief minister. “Now, as the government tried to sabotage our stir, we have decided to go ahead with ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow. The decision was taken this afternoon after a meeting of farmers’ leaders in Nashik.” As part of the ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow, the farmers’ groups have decided to lock down the government offices, another farmer leader said. Late tonight, the Shiv Sena extended its “full support” to the ongoing agitation, including the call for the ‘Maharashtra bandh’. “We have been vocal about our disappointment over the BJP government on the farmers issues as well as on the delay in announcing the loan waiver. “Today, the party decided to participate in the ‘Maharashtra bandh’ agitation, which will exclude Mumbai. The agitation will take place in the rest of Maharashtra,” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said. According to one of the resolutions passed during the Nashik meeting, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis should implement the farmers’ demands “instead of just giving assurances”. Demand for withdrawal of cases registered against the farmers at different places across the state during the stir was also part of the resolution, Bankar said. A core committee meeting of the KKM will be held in Mumbai on June 7 and a statewide convention of farmers will be held in Nashik on June 8 to decide their future course of action, he added. “Demands of farmers include a complete loan waiver, implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report and cancellation of the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur ‘Samruddhi’ expressway,” Bankar said. He appealed to the traders and transporters to join the ongoing protest by farmers. In Yavatmal, a farmers’ outfit ‘Shetkari Nyaya Hakka Anodolan Samiti’ announced its support to the state-wide one- day ‘bandh’ tomorrow. At some places in Nashik district, farmers staged rasta- rokos and poured milk on the roads, the police said. At places like Yeola and Manmad in Nashik district farmers also took out rallies against the state government late this evening. Farmers in Marathwada also continued their protests. According to officials, while the supply of vegetables and milk to various markets has improved as compared to yesterday, the state authorities are trying to provide more protection to the vegetable and milk suppliers, who are bringing the produce to Mumbai from neighbouring districts. “The vegetable and milk supply has to be smooth as its lower availability will have double impact– the farmers who could not send their produce will incur losses, while the artificial increase in vegetables prices will affect the consumers,” a senior state government official said. Meanwhile, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and sitting MP from Kolhapur, Raju Shetti, said, “I am personally supporting the farmers’ strike and members of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) will participate in it at various areas of the state.” Shetti called his associate and Maharashtra Minister of State for Agriculture and Marketing and SSS leader Sadabhau Khot a “traitor” for “breaching” the trust of farmers for allegedly causing a split in the farmers strike. “Sadabhau has breached the trust of the farmers. He was once the favourite leader of farmers, but now he has become a traitor. He wants to be close to power than protesting for the farmers’ rights,” Shetti said when asked about the role Khot played when a group of farmers under the banner Kisan Kranti Morcha came to Mumbai and called off the strike on Friday. “Khot has brokered the deal with the government and sabotaged the agitation. His action is against the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna’s decision to support the strike. He will be called before the state-level meeting of working committee of the SSS,” Shetti said. Farmers in Maharashtra launched the stir on June 1 for their various demands, prominent being waiving loans due to crop failures and indebtedness, and guaranteed MSP. After holding talks with leaders of farmers on late Friday night, the chief minister had yesterday announced that his government would waive loans of farmers with small land- holding. He said 80 per cent of such farmers are in Vidarbha and Marathwada who will benefit by the move. After the announcement, some farmer leaders announced that the stir stands withdrawn. However, a section of farmers had expressed their resolve to continue with the agitation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Farmers’ stir enters 4th day, firm on ‘Maha bandh’ tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the agitation of farmers in Maharashtra continued for the fourth day today and the supply of vegetables and milk remained largely hit, farmers’ outfits said they were firm on going ahead with the ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow, excluding Mumbai. The prices of vegetables and fruits have been on an upward path in cities, including Mumbai, due to the drastic fall in supplies from key production centres like Nashik and Ahmednagar. Farmers, who have been on war path since June 1 over their demands, including waiver of farm loan and other concessions like lower power tariff, continued the agitation for the fourth day today in parts of Maharashtra, including Nashik and Ahmednagar, which have become nerve centres of the protest. A meeting of farmers’ representatives from different parts of the state under the aegis of Kisan Kranti Morcha (KKM) that is spearheading the agitation, was held at the agriculture produce market committee (APMC) in Nashik this afternoon. During the meeting several resolutions were passed and a decision to go ahead with the Maharashtra bandh (excluding Mumbai) was taken. “The Kisan Kranti Morcha committee has given a call for ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow, excluding Mumbai,” convener of the committee, Chandrakant Bankar, said. A farmer leader from Nashik said, “The call for Maharashtra bandh had already been given, but it was suspended after a delegation of farmers met the chief minister. “Now, as the government tried to sabotage our stir, we have decided to go ahead with ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow. The decision was taken this afternoon after a meeting of farmers’ leaders in Nashik.” As part of the ‘Maharashtra bandh’ tomorrow, the farmers’ groups have decided to lock down the government offices, another farmer leader said. One of the resolutions passed during the Nashik meeting said that Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis should implement the farmers’ demands “instead of just giving assurances”. Demand for withdrawal of cases registered against the farmers at different places across the state during the stir was also part of the resolution, Bankar said. A core committee meeting of KKM will be held at Mumbai on June 7 and a statewide convention of farmers will be held in Nashik on June 8 to decide the future course of action, he added. “Demands of farmers include a complete loan waiver, implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report and cancellation of the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur ‘Samruddhi’ expressway,” Bankar said. He appealed to the traders and transporters to join the ongoing protest by farmers. In Yavatmal, a farmers’ outfit ‘Shetkari Nyaya Hakka Anodolan Samiti’ announced its support to the state-wide one- day ‘bandh’ tomoroow. At some places in Nashik district, farmers staged rasta- rokos and poured milk on the roads, police said. At places like Yeola and Manmad in Nashik district farmers also took out a rally against the state government late this evening. Farmers in Marathwada also continued with the protests. According to officials, while the supply of vegetables and milk to various markets has improved as compared to yesterday, the state authorities are trying to provide more protection to the vegetable and milk suppliers, who are bringing the produce from the neighbouring districts to Mumbai. “The vegetable and milk supply has to be smooth as its lower availability will have double impact– the farmers who could not send their produce will incur losses, while the artificial increase in vegetables prices will affect the consumers,” a senior state government official said. Meanwhile, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and sitting MP from Kolhapur, Raju Shetti, said, “I am personally supporting the farmers’ strike and members of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS) will participate in various areas of the state.” Asked about the role played by Maharashtra minister of state for agriculture and marketing and SSS leader Sadabhau Khot on Friday night when a group of farmers under the banner Kisan Kranti Morcha came to Mumbai and called off the strike, Shetti said, “Sadabhau has breached the trust of the farmers. He was once the favourite leader of farmers, but now he has become a traitor. He wants to be close to power than protesting for the farmers’ rights.” “Khot has brokered the deal with the government and sabotaged the agitation. His action is against the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna’s decision to support the strike. He will be called before the state-level meeting of working committee of SSS,” Shetti said. Farmers in Maharashtra launched their stir on June 1 for various demands, prominent being waiving loans due to crop failures and indebtedness, and guaranteed MSP. After holding talks with leaders of farmers on late Friday night, the chief minister yesterday announced that his government would waive loans of farmers with small land- holding. He said 80 per cent of such farmers are in Vidarbha and Marathwada who will benefit by the move. After the announcement, some farmer leaders announced that the stir stands withdrawn. However, a section of farmers expressed their resolve to continue with the agitation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maha threat: Farmers union warns of cutting supply of veggies, milk unless loans waived off

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana on Tuesday gave the Maharashtra government a month’s notice to come to a decision to waive the loans of the state’s farmers, failing which they would cut the supply of milk and vegetables to all the big cities starting July 1.Addressing a farmer’s rally at Rani Baug open ground in Byculla, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti threatened that the agitations from July 1 would be on the lines of the one carried out by martyr Bhagat Singh.Earlier, Shetti led a foot march from Parel to Byculla after which he called on Maharashtra Governor Vidyasagar Rao to hand over the memorandum of demands. Shetti also handed over to Governor 6.5 lakh forms seeking loan waiver filled up by farmers in the state.Recalling that after his discussion with the then Gujarath Chief Minister Narendra Modi who was NDA candidate for the post of Prime Minister during 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Shetti said that Modi had accepted all the three demands made by him. The three demands were implementing Swaminathan committee recommendations, giving autonomy to agricultural pricing commission and setting up national drought mitigation commission.Alleging that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have cheated farmers, Shetti said that he also was party to this cheating and that is the reason this foot-march from Pune to Mumbai was taken out with a feeling of repenting about cheating of farmers on his part.He said that Make in India, textile parks, demonetization were all steps to help big capitalists of the country and if Government decides to take on farmers head on, farmers would show its place to Chief Minister Fadnavis.Shetti said that farmers would not allow the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur communication super-express way since this project is aimed at helping big industrialists and make farmers poorer by snatching their fertile lands for this project. He said that even though he was not leading agitation against this project, he has supported this agitation.

Farmers dump tur dal, bananas, onions at secretariat gate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of farmers dumped tur dal, bananas and onions at the gate of state secretariat here to highlight the problems being faced by agriculturists in Maharashtra. The protesters, hailing from Pandharpur in Solapur district, were members of the Baliraja Shetkari Sanghatnan, an organisation of cultivators. The farmers arrived at Mantralaya (secretariat) in south Mumbai and suddenly started throwing stocks of tur dal, banana and onion near its gate. They also raised slogans against the BJP-led government and accused it being insensitive towards their plight. Security personnel posted at the gate detained the agitating farmers. A similar agitation was carried out by the members of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna on March 7 outside Vidhan Bhavan. The organisation is led by Raju Shetti, a Lok Sabha MP and an ally of the ruling BJP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No clear majority for any party in Kolhapur Zilla Parishad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress and BJP today won 14 seats each in the election to Kolhapur Zilla Parishad (ZP), where no party got a clear majority. Elections were held for a total of 67 ZP seats on February 21 and counting of votes took place today. Congress and BJP emerged on the top bagging 14 seats each and they were followed by Nationalist Congress Party (11), Shiv Sena (10), Janasurajya Party (6) and Swabhimani Shetakari Sanghatana (2). Among local alliances, Tararani won 3, Yuvak Kranti Aaghadi 2, Kolhapur Tararani Vikas Aaghadi 2 and Independent 1.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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