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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Trouble brews in Sugar belt, as farmers outfit ups the antenna

Earlier this week, members of the outfit were taken in custody when they had gone to protest outside the Rajarambajpu Cooperative Sugar Mill in Walva taluka of Sangli district.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
March 13, 2021 12:11:20 pm
Maharashtra farmer outfits, sugarcane crushing season, fair and remunerative price, Pune news, Maharashtra news, Indian express newsFormer MP and farmer leader Raju Shetti

Trouble is brewing in the sugar districts of Maharashtra as Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana — the farmer’s outfit headed by former MP Raju Shetti has decided to picket outside homes of state ministers to protest against the delayed and partial payment for their sugarcane. Shetti’s outfit is part of the ruling MahaVikasAghadi and his stance comes even as there is no headway made in regards to his nomination in the upper house of the state legislature.

Earlier this week, members of the outfit were taken in custody when they had gone to protest outside the Rajarambajpu Cooperative Sugar Mill in Walva taluka of Sangli district. This mill which is managed by the family of NCP leader and state minister Jayant Patil has decided to pay the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for cane purchased in installments. Of the 187 mills which are operational in the state 97 have got their farmers to sign pre harvest contracts which allows the mills to pay their farmers the government declared FRP in installments.

As members of the outfit were taken in custody, Shetti had gone to the protest site to lead the protest. The farmers leader had back then announced that he would be leading a protest outside the Sahyadri Cooperative Sugar Mill in Karad taluka of Satara district on March 22. This mill is managed by Balasaheb Patil another NCP leader who is the state’s cooperation minister. Shetti and his party men are asking for one time full payment of FRP and have protested against the mills decision to pay the same in installment.

At the last leg of the crushing season, mills have run up arrears of over Rs 2,300 crores which is a cause of concern for farmers. Sugar commissioner had issued orders for attachment of properties against 13 mills whose arrears would be now recovered as revenue default. Shetti’s protest has a political angle to it as the farmer leader is now fighting for survival in his own home truff.

 

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