Another BJP ally, the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, Tuesday staged a protest outside Vidhan Bhavan against what it called government indifference and declining prices of onion throughout the state. The protesting Sanghatana activists threw onions and tur dal on the road outside Vidhan Bhavan, alleging government apathy towards farmers. A scuffle broke out between Sanghatana leader Raju Shetty and police officers when Shetty was leading a protest demanding fair prices for onions and tur dal in the state.
The Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana, one of the most organised and vocal outfits working for farmers, said the state government had promised several initiatives to help farmers get better price for their produce. However, it failed to implement these initiatives, it said. “The government has failed to give a better life to our farmers. Our farmers continue to suffer, we cannot tolerate this. Till the Devendra Fadnavis government takes initiatives we will continue with the protest,” Shetty said.
The state witnessed the highest number of suicides in 2015, with around 4,291 farmers ending their lives. In 2016, around 3,052 farmers in the state committed suicide. “The numbers aren’t any better. We demand justice, we demand a better life for the farmers,” added Shetty. Several Sanghatana activists were arrested after they threw a bag full of onions on the car of state Agriculture Minister Sadabhau Khot. “The cause for which the Sanghatana is protesting is genuine and we understand. They are demanding better life for farmers and that the farmers can earn some profit,” Khot said.