Farm activist Kishor Tiwari, who chaired the state government task force Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission, on Saturday, lambasted Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari for not keeping the promise of accommodating him in Vidhan Parishad and has announced his decision to return to activism.
In the same breath, however, Tiwari has said that he is in touch with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, without elaborating further on it but said he has no plan to join the party.
Tiwari, who shot to prominence with his NGO Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti (VJS) at Pandharkawda in Yavatmal district, addressed a press conference at Yavatmal to announce his decision to sever his relationship with the BJP.
Tiwari, who is not a BJP member, told The Indian Express, “I went with the BJP on the invitation of Fadnavis and Gadkari since they thought I could provide them valuable guidance on agricultural issues. I agreed to head the Mission and did my best to help farmers. But the BJP doesn’t need me anymore since they have so many bigwigs joining them under a megabharti drive. They had promised me a seat in the Upper House by 2018 but that never came about. So, I have decided to return to activism.”
He, however, said, “I am in touch with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray since past three months. He is taking inputs from me on farmers’ issues.”
Asked if he plans to join Shiv Sena, Tiwari said, “no.”
He, however, said that his organisation would put up candidates in the forthcoming state elections at Kelapur, Wani, Ralegaon and Pandharkawda. I will also go to the constituency across Vidarbha and Marathwada where I have influenced.
Tiwari, who enjoyed Minister of State status as the task force chief, also criticised the CM for not keeping his word on making the Mission a quasi-judicial body. “They didn’t do that and kept it as mere advisory body. But now they don’t even need my advise since they are getting big people from other parties,” Tiwari said . Adding, “They have a plan to quieten activists (thanda karne ki yojana).
Asked if the Fadnavis government was successful in delivering anything worthwhile to farmers, Tiwari said, “they brought focus of many issues like crop pattern and sustainabilty but there was only talk and no policy reforms.”
Asked about his contribution as Mission chief, he said, “I visited 5,000 villages and 1,200 hospitals and tried address their problems to the best of my ability.”
Tiwari had created a flutter ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha election by writing to RSS that Nitin Gadkari be made Prime Minister. He said, “there was some hope at that time. But they insulted me by not offering a place on dais at the PM’s rally at Pandharkawda in March despite my hard work to make it successful. I was subjected to humiliation. Now I am repenting for associating with them.”