Maharashtra farmers’ protest: Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has extended its full support to the farmers of Maharashtra who are sitting on an indefinite strike seeking loan waiver. The party had aggressively participated in the statewide ‘bandh’ called by various farmer groups on Monday and the move has once again highlighted the strained relationship with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently rules the state.
As per a report by Indian Express, Thackeray has said that the strike is just the beginning of the fight. The Sena chief also said, “Sena will stand firmly behind farmers until their last demand is met.” Not just Sena, but even the Swabhimani Paksha (SP) has actively participated in the strike. Both Sena and SP are the part of the state government and have, on several occasions, expressed their unease on a number of issues with which they do not agree with the steps the state government is taking. The report further stated that not only did Sainiks participate actively in the bandh, they also blocked roads in several parts of western Maharashtra and Marathwada. After the situation went out of control, the police detained two MLAs and some Sena leaders, however they were later released.
As per PTI, a SP leader from Kolhapur Raju Sethi said that they will soon decide whether to quit the Fadnavis government. “I regret supporting the BJP government. A meeting of party’s working committee will be called and decision on the same will be taken soon,” he added further.
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Speaking about the entire row, CM Fadnavis told Indian Express that the government is willing to engage in talks with anybody, provided he/ she is a real farmer. Further indicating that the incidences of violence were the handwork of political parties, Fadnavis said, “A genuine farmer will never resort violence. Political parties are interested in violence to create upheaval and distabilise the government.”
On the other hand Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has once again renewed its focus on farmer issues and has said that the party will hold nationwide protest on the same. Indian Express further said that AAP senior leader Sanjay Singh cited the instance of Maharashtra where farmers are reportedly throwing away their produce in protest, and in Punjab where more than 55 farmers have committed suicide since Amarinder Singh took charge.