Farmers’ committee divided over talks with govt.

A section of leaders feel it’s too early to hold discussions as demands need to be fine-tuned

Updated - December 03, 2021 05:01 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2017 07:42 am IST - Mumbai

Farm fresh: NCP supporters dump milk outside the District Collector’s office during a protest in support of the farmers’ strike in Thane on Saturday.

Farm fresh: NCP supporters dump milk outside the District Collector’s office during a protest in support of the farmers’ strike in Thane on Saturday.

A rift seems to have developed in the Kisan Kranti Morcha’s steering committee, with some members refusing to take part in a meeting with a high-powered group of ministers.

The 21-member committee, formed five days ago, was to meet the ministers in Mumbai on Saturday. Its prominent members include BJP ally and MP Raju Shetti, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat, Raghunath Patil, Ajit Navale, MLA Bacchu Kadu and Dr. Budhajirao Mulik. Of these, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat and Dr. Mulik have decided not to participate in the meeting.

 

Giridhar Patil said, “The steering committee has not yet decided on the exact demands of farmers and how to approach the government with them. I opposed the idea of meeting government representatives before these things were finalised.” He also alleged that a couple of members of the steering committee announced a fast over farmers’ issues without consulting other members.

Not kept in loop: Raote

Shiv Sena minister Diwakar Raote, a members of the high-powered committee, claimed he was kept in the dark about the formation of the panel. However, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil of the BJP, who is the committee chairperson, said he had called Mr. Raote to invite him to the panel’s maiden meeting on Sunday.

On Friday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the formation of a six-member high-powered committee of ministers to look into farmers’ issues, including a loan waiver. “I had no idea that my name is being included in the ministers’ panel. We had been kept in the dark,” Mr. Raote said.

Mr. Patil, who heads the committee, also said further the State government has already accepted 90% of demands made by protesting farmers. “The remaining demands will be looked into during the meeting on Sunday. The BJP will keep trying to give utmost respect to the Sena,” Mr. Patil added.

The other members of the panel are Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar, Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Cooperation Minister Subhash Deshmukh and Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.

The group will hold discussions with farmers’ leaders and submit a proposal to the state government.

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