THE next phase of the ongoing farmers’ strike is likely to be decided in the first meeting of the new core committee in Nashik on Thursday. The villagers of Puntamba, in Rahata taluka of Ahmednagar district, where the farmers’ movement originated, have decided to start the supply of vegetables and milk to cities after seven days. Since June 1, farmers in Maharashtra have been on an unprecedented strike which affected the supply of milk and vegetable in urban areas. Farmers did not sell their produce, and in many parts of the state had come on the roads to disrupt movement of vehicles carrying farm produce to cities such as Mumbai and Pune.
Squeezed supplies had led to a rise in prices in both wholesale and retail markets. The strike has seen incidents of violence. Puntamba is set to resume supplies from Thursday. Dr Dhanajay Dhanvate, a resident of Puntamba, said it was originally decided to stop supplies for a week, and they had successfully done so. “Our protest will be on, but supplies will be resumed,” he said. The apparent split in the erstwhile core committee had weaned away the movement to Nashik, where farmers continue to stop supplies.
Hansraj Wadghule, a committee member, said farmers in Nashik will continue with their boycott until a fresh decision is taken. The new core committee has members such Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, Shetakari Sanghatana leader Raghunath Patil and MLA Bacchu Kadu.