BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday called off his three-day-old protest at Akola in Vidarbha region over farmers’ issues, saying Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had assured him that their demands will be met.
The 80-year-old leader, who was detained on Monday during the protest but had resumed his sit-in after he was released that night, said that Fadnavis had spoken to him on telephone and he had apprised the chief minister of their demands.
“The chief minister has accepted our demands, but I don’t look at this agitation from the point of view of victory or defeat. Farmers will benefit,” Sinha, who has been sidelined in the party in recent years, told reporters, while announcing the decision to end the stir at the district police headquarters grounds.
“Promise me that no farmer will now commit suicide,” Sinha appealed to cultivators who had gathered at the venue.
“The chief minister spoke to me at 11 am today. We had a good discussion. I apprised him about the farmers demands. He gave an assurance to accept the demands,” Sinha said.
The former finance minister, who has had frequent run-ins with the current BJP leadership, was detained on Monday evening while protesting outside the district collector’s office against the state government’s alleged “apathy” towards the farmers of Vidarbha.
The leader refused to budge from the protest venue till all demands of farmers were met.
Sinha had on Monday said the government does not appear serious about solving the problems being faced by agriculturists.
Yesterday, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had spoken to the BJP veteran over phone and discussed farmers’ issues.
The district administration had said a majority of the demands linke including compensation to cotton farmers for losses incurred due to pink bollworm infestation, action against companies manufacturing “bogus” bio-technologically modified seeds and 100 per cent payout for crop losses to moong, udad and soyabean farmers, have been accepted.
The farmers were also demanding that bank officials and administration execute loan waivers by personally visiting gram panchayats.
The demands also included uninterrupted power supply to agricultural pump sets, removal of “unjust” conditions from the gold mortgage waiver scheme of the government for farmers, and purchase of all farm produce at MSP by NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India).