Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, whose uneasy equations with the ruling BJP is no secret, has emerged as one of the leaders of the new coordination committee that successfully negotiated a complete loan waiver for farmers in the state. With Shetti’s re-emergence in the sugar belt of west Maharashtra, chances of his one-time bete noire, Minster of State Sadashiv Khot, posing a challenge have slimmed.
Shetti, a two-time MP from Hathkanagale, joined hands with the NDA during the general and Assembly elections. Khot was subsequently made a junior minister. Ties between the leaders got started straining as rumours about Khot’s proximity to the BJP gained ground. Khot’s decision to field his son in the zilla parishad elections did not go down well with the farmers’ union, with Shetti also speaking against it. For the last few months, talk of Khot switching to the BJP has gained ground.
After the botched attempt to call off the famers’ strike on June 3, Khot suffered bad publicity. As the strike continued, new power centres emerged with Shetti emerging as a strong leader.