After 64 organisations gave a call for bandh from June 1, Swabhimani Paksha MP and farmers’ leader Raju Shetti said his organisation will start a state-wide movement from May 1, which will “embolden farmers to fight for their rights”.
Shetti, who was addressing the media in Pune on Thursday, said their movement will urge farmers not to commit suicide. “The present economic hardships faced by the farm sector is not the creation of farmers. Demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) have dealt a death blow to the sector from which it is yet to recover,” he said.
Shetti added that he will kickstart his movement from Dhule, the village of Dharma Patil, and end it at Osmanabad. Dharma Patil was the farmer who had committed suicide at Mantralaya after his pleas for rehabilitation had fallen
on deaf ears.
Blaming the present government for the agrarian crisis, Shetti said the increased number of suicides was a reflection of the challenges the sector was facing. “More than 190 farmers’ organisations have drafted two Bills, which will ensure complete loan waiver for farmers and assure 1.5 times returns on production costs,” he said. The Bills, Shetti said, have been accepted by all the major Opposition parties. “I will be introducing the two Bills in the Lok Sabha, while we are planning to get the Bills passed through a majority vote in the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
On the completion of the movement, farmers will submit a memorandum to district collector’s offices addressed to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Rajya Sabha Vice-Chairman asking them to pass the Bills.