No senior Shiv Sena leader present at farmers’ support meet

A farmer seen in front of a wall of graffiti during a protest against the new farm laws in Mumbai on January 25, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Even as top leaders of all political parties joined hands with farmer unions on January 25 as thousands of peasants from different parts of Maharashtra gather in Mumbai demanding the repeal of the three controversial farm laws, no senior leader from the ruling Shiv Sena was present on the dais.

The Samyukta Shetkari Kamgar Morcha (SSKM) (Maharashtra) (an umbrella body of over 100 organisations affiliated to the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), the Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC), the Struggle Committee of Mass Movements (JASS), Nation for Farmers and Hum Bharat ke Log had urged all major political parties to participate in the protest against the farm laws. It said the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the Congress and the Shiv Sena - part of the Maha vikas Aghadi (MVA) government - had agreed to be present.

Leaders slam BJP

On January 25, NCP president Sharad Pawar, State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat, Mumbai Congress president Bhai Jagtap and PWP leader Jayant Patil slammed the BJP for the manner in which the laws were brought in and demanded that they be repealed.

Interestingly, despite earlier announcement, the Sena sent its second-rank leader on behalf of the party. The SSKM had met Environment minister Aaditya Thackeray who, they said, agreed to be there at the protest site.

When asked about the Sena’s absence, Mr. Thackeray said his party stood with farmers. “Sharad Pawar is leading the agitation on behalf of the MVA. The Central government is not giving attention to farmers’ demands despite 60 days of protest. Questions should instead be asked to them,” he told a news channel.

Mr. Pawar criticised the Centre for bringing in the laws without taking all parties into confidence. “The law was made by unconstitutional methods. Majority was used to bring in these laws by bypassing parliamentary traditions. But the common citizen of this country will destroy you [BJP] and this law,” he said.

Mr. Thorat said, “The Congress has always stood firmly in support of farmers, labourers and workers and the Maha vikas Aghadi government is committed to bringing laws that are in the interest of the farmers in the state and for which discussions are under way and a law will be enacted soon”.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:42:55 PM |

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