Pune civic elections: Now, ‘sons of the soil’ out to challenge power centres

Educated youths from farmers’ families, especially in Vidarbha, intend to contest highlighting agrarian issues

Written by Partha Sarthi Biswas | Pune | Published:October 23, 2016 2:06 am
pune civic elections The Bhumiputra Andolan Vahini will give voice to farmers’ issues.

The upcoming civic elections in the state will see a new breed of politicians trying their luck at the battle of the ballot. Fighting under the banner of Bhumiputra Andolan Vahini, these well-educated youths intend to contest mostly on agrarian issues and give voice to matters facing the farming community at large.

Consisting of educated youngsters from farmers’ families especially in Vidarbha, for many years the organisation has been trying its level best to give voice to the farmer’s issues.

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Through the social wing called Apulkee, these professionals have been conducting various farm related initiatives like running an equipment bank and helping families of farmers who have committed suicide.

Over the last few years the organisation has been conducting sit-in agitations and contacting MLAs before the start of the state legislation to press for issues like acceptance of the Swaminathan Commission’s report.

Abhijeet Phalke, member of the Vahini, said the decision to enter active politics was taken by the members themselves. “We have seen the end of generations of farmer’s leaders who had taken up the agrarian cause. While on street they have been able to draw attention to their issues real change is often lacking. Until and unless the farmer’s issues are raised in the houses of power chances of a permanent solution are slim,” he said.

Working mainly in the districts of Vidharbha this will be the first time the organisation enters the electoral fray.

Members of this organisation, although based in cities like Pune and Mumbai, have retained their strong links with their places of origin.

Phalke said this time around, eight to ten members will be contesting the elections under the banner of the Vahini.

All the candidates are highly educated and have been working on issues for many years.

“Most of the members who have expressed their willingness to contest elections have agreed to defray their own expenses. The elections will be fought on matters related to the farm and farmers,” he said.

Members of the Andolan like Phalke have promised to pitch in and campaign for the candidates there.