Days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis accused the opposition of instigating the farmers’ stir in the state, senior minister and the BJP leader Chandrakant Patil today accused NCP chief Sharad Pawar of doing little for cultivators when his party was in power. “Why Sharad Pawar has started showing so much concerns for farmers of late? His party failed to give a minimum support price (MSP) to farmers during its 15-year rule. Pawar’s recent allegations are coming from fear of losing (his) ‘Janata Raja’ identity,” the revenue minister alleged.
The “Janata Raja” tag is typically attached to the veteran politician for his understanding of rural and agricultural issues. When the farmers’ stir was at its peak, the former Union agriculture minister alleged on Friday that the government was trying to create fissures among farmers by leaking reports that it is considering loan waiver for small farmers.
Taking a swipe, Patil said, “There are some people who in the name of farmers’ strike are creating ruckus and destroying milk and vegetables. One should find out who were those who looted the common man by hiking prices and which party they belong to”. Patil alleged some people are “unhappy” over the state government finding a solution to farmers’ protests.
“Some people are unhappy as they could not capitalise on the protests,” he alleged. 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 will waive loans of farmers with small land-holding. He said 80 percent 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After the announcement, some farmer leaders announced that the stir stands withdrawn.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. Meanwhile, Patil added the government is keen on holding talks with farmers who still feel disappointed, and finding a solution.