Farmers in Maharashtra have decided to take back their agitation after the government agreed in principle to the demand of a complete loan waiver. This was announced by Maharashtra revenue minister Chandrakant Patil after a meeting with the 21-member coordination committee in Mumbai. Patil heads the committee of the group of ministers. Patil said that farmers with small land holdings, of less than 5 acres, would be immediately eligible for new crop loans. Agriculture minister Pandurang Phundkar, finance and planning minister Sudhir Mungatiwar, cooperation and marketing minister Subhash Deshmukh, water resources minister Girish Mahajan, transport minister Diwakar Rawade were present at the meeting. Farmer leaders Raju Shetty, Raghunathdada Patil, MLA Bacchu Kanu, former judge BG Kolse Patil and Dr Ajit Navale were also present at the meeting.
Patil said that the government has agreed to accept some of the demands of the farmers after a positive discussion on the issue. According to the minister, the government will take back all the cases (except for discovery of goods) during the agitation period. Farmer leader Shetty said that they had been aggressive on the debt waiver issue. The demand for the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee Report shall be followed up with the Centre by a delegation headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, he added.
Shetty said that the agitation on June 12 and June 13 for stopping the movement of ministers and MLAs and rail roko has been postponed until July 25. He warned that if the government fails to meet its assurances given at this meeting, the agitation will be intensified from July 26. Another farmer leader Patil called this a huge victory for farmers.
Farmers in Maharashtra were agitating for a loan waiver from June 1. The agitation had begun in Punatamba , a small village near Shirdi.