The recent farmers’ protest has exposed a rift between the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana that engaged in demonstrations as farmers stayed away from street shows. The parties that were earlier together in demanding a farm loan waiver from the state government organised separate protests across the state.
On the fifth day of the strike, some former Congress ministers complained that people were no longer supporting the strike after the government announced a Rs 30,000 crore loan waiver for the farmers. At an internal meeting, it was discussed that prolonging the strike would invite a backlash from the people.
Statistics showed that across Maharashtra, of the total 307 Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), 300 operated. While four APMCs were shut because of weekly holiday, three APMCs — Ausa (Latur), Sakri-Dhule, Khamgaon Buldhana — were shut in support of the strike.
At Nashik and Ahmednagar farm produce movement was affected because of the strike. Pune registered some impact, whereas, Nagpur region, Marathwada, Jalgaon and Sangli markets continued as usual.
The state’s 10 big markets procured a total stock of 1,22,110 quintal of farm produce. The total farm produce (vegetables and fruits) across the state comes to around 1,68,570 quintal.
While the supply in Mumbai was 6,91,60 quintals, Pune had 1,52,90 quintal, Nagpur recorded 2,58,43 quintal and Solpur had 6,161 quintals.
Places like Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Amravati showed no signs of protest.
However, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief Raju Shetti led a demonstration at Icchalkaranji in Kolhapur and Shiv Sena MLA Chandrajeet Narke took to the streets separately.
At Mohol district in Solapur, some NCP workers broke window glasses of few state busses….
At Nashik rural, six places reported rasta roko. At Kalwan, the protest was lead by communist workers, whereas at Dindori, Nophad, NCP’s Anil Kunde and at Chandwad, ex-MLA Girish Kotwal, led the protest. Kiran Patil led the agoitation at Dhule.
At Jalgaon Raver, the Shiv Sena protest was led by Prahlad Mahajan and at Yaval, Ghanshyam Patil led the agitation. In Nanded’s Ardhapur, Congress workers damaged few buses. Whereas, Hingoli saw Shiv Sena’s Santosh Bangar in the forefront of agitation. There were reports of stone pelting at Osmanabad and attack on a milk tanker at Satara.
On Monday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “The government is willing to engage in talks with anybody provided he/she is a real farmer. Genuine farmers will never resort to violence. It is the political parties that are interested in violence to create upheaval in state and destabilise the government.”