Eight days into their strike, farmers in Maharashtra on Thursday decided to resume supplies of produce to agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) across the state. The decision was taken at a meeting of the core committee of farmers in Nashik. The committee also issued an ultimatum that they would hold sit-ins in front of all government offices on June 12 and block rail and road traffic across the state on June 13 if the state government did not convene a meeting with it in the next two days. The committee said it would not allow any minster to hold any kind of function in the state until then.
“For seven days, our brethren have suffered. We now need to change our strategy and find a different way to take this movement ahead. This agitation will continue until farmers in the state get complete loan waiver. However, farmers will now resume supply of produce to markets,” said Dr Ajit Nawle, member of the core committee set up by farmers.
The committee, comprising leaders such as MP Raju Shetti, MLA Bacchu Kadu, MLC Jayant Patil and various representatives of farmers’ bodies, was set up after the protesting farmers disagreed with the previous leaders of the agitation who met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last week and called off the strike. Stating that the agitation would continue, the new committee had announced that it would meet in Nashik on June 8 to chart its strategy.
While farmers had earlier claimed that they wanted the new agitation to be apolitical, without the help or interference of any political parties, three MLAs and an MP were part of the meeting on Thursday. Peasants and Workers Party MLC Jayant Patil said that if their demands were not met, farmers would ensure that the water supply to Mumbai would be cut.