Mumbai

Koshyari under fire from protesting farmers

Thousands of Farmers and workers gathered for the rally to protest against new farm bills, at Azad maidan in Mumbai on January 25, 2021.   | Photo Credit: VIVEK BENDRE

Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari came under fire from thousands of farmers protesting in Mumbai’s Azad Maidan to repeal three farm laws after he left for Goa instead of receiving the delegation that was to meet him on Monday afternoon.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar slammed Mr. Koshyari saying that he has time to meet Kanagna Ranaut but not farmers while the farmer leaders said that the governor’s action of holidaying in Goa instead of meeting farmers come as no surprise since he was a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in the past and remains Rashtriya Swayamsevak sangh (RSS) pracharak, even today.

The Governor’s office issued a statement on late Monday evening claiming it had informed the organisers of the farmers’ march on January 24 that Mr. Koshyari will be leaving for Goa to address the legislative session there which was to be started from Monday itself. The Governor will be in Mumbai on January 26 and attend the flag-hoisting ceremony on the occassion of Republic Day at Dadar’s Shivaji Park.

“You, the farmers, want to meet governor to submit your letter of demand. But Maharashtra never witnessed a Governor like the present one. He has already gone to Goa. This Governor has time to meet Ms. Ranaut but not time to meet farmers,” said Mr. Pawar, in his address to the farmers’ rally on Monday.

The NCP chief added that it was the moral responsibility of Maharashtra Governor to be there in Raj Bhavan. “The farmer, the working class was to come to meet him. It was expected that he face them. But he has no dignity,” said Mr. Pawar.

The All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) president Ashok Dhawale criticised the Governor saying holidaying in Goa instead of meeting farmers display his priorities. “But it isn’t surprising since he was a BJP leader and RSS pracharak,” he said.

Thousands of farmers and workers from different parts of the State had gathered at the Azad Maidan since Sunday night and they were to meet Mr. Koshyari with a demand letter on Monday afternoon by taking out a march at his residence.

The Mumbai Police denied the permission to take out a march barricading the protesters near Metro theatre and asked the delegation of 20 leaders to come to the Raj Bhavan. “We have decided that we are not interested in meeting the Secretary of the Governor. This Governor has insulted Maharashtra. We tear the demand letter from this stage instead of giving it to his office,” said Mr. Dhawale.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 1:15:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/koshyari-under-fire-from-protesting-farmers/article33662188.ece

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