The sixth day of the strike by farmers in Maharashtra on Tuesday saw several tehsil offices in rural parts of the state being locked down by protestors. Following Maharashtra bandh, arrivals in Mumbai and Pune were near normal to the extent of 85% and vegetable prices dropped to previous levels. According to Sunil Pawar, marketing director, Maharashtra, barring Mumbai and Pune, arrivals were affected in 24 market committees. The effect was visible in Nashik, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Solapur and Kolhapur. During a meeting held in Nashik on Sunday, a new coordination committee for the agitation was announced, comprising 21 leaders from various farmers’ organisation. Several political parties including Shiv Sena have now extended support to the farmer strike by participating in Maharashtra bandh. “It has been decided to set up a new coordination committee. As of now, it consists of 21 people, including leaders like Raju Shetti, Bacchu Kadu and Raghunanathdada Patil. “More will be incorporated as people join us. The purpose of this committee is to bring the movement back on track,” Raghunathdada Patil, farmer leader who is part of the committee, said. The committee will now hold a major gathering on June 8 in Nashik to finalise its strategy. A split seems to be emerging between the new core committee members and farmers of Puntamba — the initial nerve centre of the strike.
Anil Dhanwat, one of the main coordinators of the strike who was also invited to be part of the new coordination committee says he has declined the offer and farmers in the region would continue to protest on their own.
Raghunathdada Patil of the Shetkari Sanghatana said that the future course of action will be decided on June 8 after the meeting of the coordination committee.
On Wednesday, offices of the Deepak Khaire, chairman, Pune Agriculture Produce Market Committee said that arrivals in Pune improved to 85% and police protection was provided to more than 100 vehicles. In Vashi, it was business as usual. As many as 84 trucks carrying potato, 61 trucks of onion, 450 trucks of vegetables and 300 trucks of fruits arrived in the market.