A rift seems to have developed in the steering committee of leaders of agitating farmers in Maharashtra, with some of its members refusing to take part in a meeting with a high-powered group of ministers. The 21-member committee, formed five days ago, is to meet the ministers in Mumbai on Saturday. Its prominent members include BJP ally and MP Raju Shetti, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat, Raghunath Patil, Ajit Navale, MLA Bacchu Kadu and Dr Budhajirao Mulik. However, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat and Dr Mulik have decided not to participate in Saturday’s meeting.
Giridhar Patil said, “The steering committee has not yet decided the exact demands of farmers and how to approach the government over them. I opposed the idea of meeting the government representatives before these things were finalised.”
He also alleged that a couple of members of the steering committee announced a fast over farmers’ issues without consulting other members.