Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana president Raju Shetti on Thursday took the battle for dairy farmers to Baramati, home turf and Assembly constituency of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Shetti held a protest at Baramati in Western Maharashtra, exhorting farmers who had brought their cattle to the protest to “get aggressive”. Addressing the farmers, Shetti said, “It’s time to show our aggression. We have been very patient. Now we have to raise our voice through protests. If any minister comes for talks, bathe him with milk.”
Pointing to the government’s indifference towards dairy farmers, Shetti said, “Unfortunately, most politicians who own milk unions or milk companies are not paying dairy farmers high renumeration.”
“Most of these politicians are not paying farmers more than Rs 20 per litre. The farmers deserve a minimum Rs 27 per litre. Milk procurement promised by the government has benefited only a handful of cooperatives. But the government has ignored private milk unions,” he added.
“When it came to the sugar sector, the government went out of the way to help them. But when it comes to addressing poor dairy farmers, it has not even taken cognisanse,” he said.
Shetti’s party has so far held agitations in Kolhapur, Ahmednagar and Satara in support of dairy farmers.