Maharashtra: Amid protest, CM Shinde, dy Fadnavis to meet farmers’ representatives
16 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will meet protesting farmers on Thursday at 3 p.m. in Mantralaya.
State ministers Dada Bhuse and Atul Save met and spoke with a delegation of protesting farmers on Wednesday, amid the ongoing farmer’s march led by the All India Kisan Sabha and the Communist Party of India to draw the attention of the government to their problems and plight.
Farmers have been marching from Nashik to Mumbai in an attempt to present their demands to the government. Dada Bhuse told reporters on Wednesday that Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will meet protesting farmers on Thursday at 3 p.m. in Mantralaya.
“We discussed 14 issues that they flagged. We accepted their positions and agreed to many of their demands. We held detailed discussions with them. We requested the CPI and the protesting farmers to meet CM and Dy CM at the Mantralaya. They agreed to meet the chief minister and the deputy CM at 3 pm in Mantralaya tomorrow,” he said.
Following his meeting with the farmers’ delegation, state minister Atul Save claimed that 40-50 percent of issues had been resolved.
“Discussions were held on all the issues that the farmers raised. 40-50 percent of their issues have been resolved and the rest will be resolved after meeting the CM, Dy CM tomorrow,” he said.
After arriving in Mumbai on March 14, the farmers began demonstrating at Azad Maidan to draw attention to the issues they face. Because of the large-scale protest, security was increased to control traffic in two lines and avoid any inconvenience to commuters.
“Considering the scale of protest, we deployed adequate policemen for maintaining law and order in the event of an emergency. As the foot march is being held from Nashik to Mumbai, we have deployed forces for controlling the traffic in two lines and avoid any inconvenience to commuters,” said DCP Kiran Kumar Chavan.
“We have started this march to draw the attention of the government towards our problems. We have put forward 14-15 demands and will hold discussions with the government about them,” a protesting farmer told ANI.
Another farmer stated that they want a fair price for onions, a full loan waiver, a waiver of pending electricity bills, and a 12-hour daily power supply.
“We demand compensation from government insurance companies for losses incurred due to unseasonal rains and other natural calamities,” said another farmer.
Opposition parties in Maharashtra staged a protest on the stairs of Vidhan Bhawan earlier on Tuesday, demanding the resignation of Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Abdul Sattar over his remarks about farmers. Sattar sparked outrage on Sunday when he made a remark about farmer suicides in the state.
The remarks drew criticism from the opposition, with Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders launching protests and demanding Sattar resign in the aftermath of his remark that farmers ending their lives was nothing new and that such incidents had occurred for a long time.
On Tuesday, February 28, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLAs carried onions on their heads and wore onion garlands as a symbolic protest in demand for a fair price for onions amid a drop in wholesale rates.
Farmers at Nashik’s Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee halted auctions on February 27 due to a low wholesale price for onions (APMC). The Maharashtra State Onion Growers’ Association then staged a protest against the government.