Farmers in Maharashtra are reeling under shortage of chemical fertilisers at a time they need them the most - the sowing season, in the backdrop of weather bureau forecasting a normal monsoon this year.
The Opposition has warned that the shortage may lead to deterioration of law and order situation, with irate farmers taking to streets as was seen in Chief Minister Ashok Chavan's Nanded district recently.
"The Nanded incident, where farmers, irked over non-availability of fertilisers, indulged in violence, is one of the several such cases in the state. Farmers are becoming restless," Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Pandurang Phundkar told PTI.
Hundreds of farmers have staged demonstrations in several places in Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, demanding adequate supply of fertiliser and checks on its sale in the black market, Phundkar said.
The shortage is due to the Congress-NCP government's apathy towards farmers and for the last couple of years, Maharashtra has failed to register and lift its allocation of fertilisers from the Centre, leading to farmers' woes, he said.
The demand for fertiliser in the past couple of days had increased following widespread rainfall, and the farmers who were ready to take up sowing had started thronging shops only to be met with signs of 'no stock', the senior state BJP leader said.