Condemning the firing incident in which a farmer was killed in Sangli district, Shiv Sena on Tuesday flayed NCP president Sharad Pawar over his remarks about a prominent farmers’ leader in Maharashtra.

Senior Sena leader Diwakar Raote said, “Farmers anywhere do not have caste.” Pawar’s remarks are “a ploy to split the farmers’ agitation,” he alleged.

Mr. Raote’s comments came in the wake of Pawar’s remarks in Baramati on Monday that it was not fair to target sugarcane factories owned by a particular community.

Cane growers in Maharashtra led by Independent MP Raju Shetty have been agitating over rates given to them by sugar factories for their produce.

Mr. Pawar has been critical of Mr. Shetty ever since the Lok Sabha member from Kolhapur went on a fast last year at his home turf Baramati.

BJP leader Gopinath Munde also criticised Pawar, saying the NCP leader is trying to “digress” from the issue.

One of the protesting farmers, Chandrakant Nalavde, died in police firing at Nandre village in Sangli district on Monday.