Farmers’ organisations, which have called for a strike from June 1, have accused chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of teaming up with Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil , leader of Opposition and Congress, of trying to divide them so that the agitation fails.
Farmers from Ahmednagar, Aurangabad and some other districts, reiterated their decision to go on strike from June 1 by cutting supply of milk and vegetables to cities like Mumbai and Pune. Their demands include farm loan waiver and a minimum support price for crops by June 1.
A group of farmers who met the CM and Vikhe-Patil on Tuesday, later announced that they were satisfied with the meeting and the strike had been called off. It said that it was representing 40 villages, which decided at the gram sabha that the farmers would go on strike, and the talk with the government had been positive.
The group said that the CM spoke to it about the measures, which the government was taking for the farmers’ relief. The farmers were asked to form a study group for the implementation of the schemes.
However, the coordination committee of 38 farmer organisations met in Aurangabad on Wednesday and clarified that they were going back to protesting. “It was a delegation of the farmers close to the Bharatiya Janata Party and did not represent the organisations that had called for a strike. On Wednesday, we decided to step up the protest against the government in phases. In the first phase, we will cut off supply of vegetables and milk to cities like Mumbai and Pune,” said Jayajirao Suryavanshi, coordinator of the committee.
He said that the farmers would not talk to the government unless the loan waiver was announced by the government. Other demands include free power supply to agricultural pumps, interest-free loans, MSP with 50% rise on the cost of the production.
Vikhe Patil was not available for comment. His office clarified that the leader took the delegation to the CM as the farmers were from his constituency, but he had no role to play in the withdrawal of the strike.