Farmers’ strike States

Slanging match in Maharashtra CM’s adopted village

BJP, Congress workers stage protests, shout slogans over farmers’ stir

Fetri (Nagpur): In the backdrop of the ongoing farmers’ stir across Maharashtra and neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, some farmers also gathered to protest in Fetri village of Nagpur district on Friday.

Local reporters had gathered at this high profile village, which has been adopted by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Though the agitation had the support of the Congress, it was the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party members who indulged in intense sloganeering.

The BJP workers, led by local MLA Sameer Meghe , had erected a makeshift pandal barely a few meters from the protest venue of the Congress-backed protest.

As soon as a small group of Congressmen and farmers began shouting slogans against the Chief Minister and BJP for allegedly neglecting farmers, the BJP workers started to outshout them and indulged in counter-sloganeering.

The BJP men then aggressively walked towards the Congress pandal protest and started cleaning up the vegetables dumped by them in front of their protest venue.

The policemen present had to put up a human wall between the BJP workers and the Congress workers to stop them from clashing.

“Can’t we even protest? The BJP has still not fulfilled the promises of proper price to our produce and here they are not even allowing us to protest,” Dinesh Jumde, a farmer from Bailwada village and a supporter of the Congress asked.

When asked why did they now allow the Congress protest, BJP leader and former sarpanch of Fetri Bhimrao Raut said, “The chief minister has announced a loan waiver and we believe that the protests should stop now.”

Inspector Chandrashekhar Barahate, who was present to control the protests, said neither side had taken police permission for the protest.

When asked as to why he allowed the ruling party members walk aggressively towards the Congress pandal, Mr.Barahate said, “ Where is the question of allowing them? Our men were there to stop them and we had put up a human wall of policemen between the members of two parties to avoid any clashes.”

Reacting to the BJP members’ aggressive counter protest in Fetri, Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “They are behaving like autocrats in a democracy.” They do not want to solve the problems of people. They want to crush every dissenting voice with the help of strong propaganda. But they should remember the history that no dictator was able to enforce his will forever.”

Local Congress leader and a member of Fetri village panchayat, Vakil Dongre alleged that the BJP had brought protestors from Nagpur city and neighbouring Kalmeshwar town in buses.

But BJP MLA Sameer Meghe denied the charge and asked the Congress for “proof”. “There was hardly anyone at the Congress protest venue,” Mr. Meghe claimed.

Asked as to why the ruling party was protesting aggressively against a handful of Congress workers and farmers, Mr. Meghe said, “ The Congress was conducting this protest despite the announcement of the loan waiver by the CM. This was nothing more than a drama by the Congress workers. We got calls from local villagers that this (the Congress protest) was not right and it should be stopped. We walked towards them just to clean the vegetables they had dumped. We cleaned the spot as a part of the Swachha Bharat mission and ended our protest. We did not abuse them. We just wanted to prove what the CM has done for this village. Had we done anything wrong, we would have been sitting behind closed doors at our homes.”

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 8:58:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/states/slanging-match-in-maharashtra-cms-adopted-village/article18952057.ece

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