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BJP leader Yashwant Sinha calls off agitation after talks with Maharashtra CM

Yashwant Sinha called off his agitation at Akola in west Vidarbha after Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis spoke to the leader on phone and agreed to all the seven demands.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2017 20:46 IST
Pradip Maitra
Pradip Maitra
Hindustan Times, Nagpur
Yashwant Sinha,BJP,Maharashtra farmers
BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha was detained during farmers’ protest in Maharashtra’s Akola on Monday.(ANI Photo)

Veteran BJP leader and former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday announced the end of a three-day agitation after the Maharashtra government accepted all his demands including farm loan waiver.

Sinha called off his agitation at Akola in west Vidarbha after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis spoke to the 80-year-old leader on phone and agreed to all the seven 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 told reporters 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.

A defiant Sinha, a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government, was detained with 250-odd farmers on Monday after the activists broke barricades following break-down of talks with the DC.

He was taken to district police headquarters and later released. But the senior leader refused to leave and sat on a dharna at the police ground and said he would not budge from the venue till all demands raised by farmers were met.

Besides farm loan waiver, Sinha had insisted that the government accept the other demands that included uninterrupted power supply to agricultural pump sets, action against companies manufacturing bogus Bt seeds and purchase of all farm produce at the minimum support price fixed.

District collector Astik Pandey said Fadnavis sent his emissary, Akola sub-divisional magistrate Sanjay Khadse, who told Sinha that the chief minister wanted to talk with him.

Sinha spoke over phone with Fadnavis at around 11.30 am during which in which the chief minister conceded his last demand of purchasing all farm produce at the minimum support price by the government agency, the DC added.

Sinha had arrived at Akola three days ago to participate in the Shetkari Jagar Manch convention, called to highlight the plight of farmers in the Vidarbha region, a cotton growing region caught in a cycle of drought and crop loss.

After calling off the agitation, Sinha spoke to local leaders representatives of different political parties including former union minister Dinesh Trivedi (Trinamool Congress), Lok Sabha member Pratap Jadhav (Shiv Sena) and Priti Menon Sharma (AAP).

On Tuesday, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray and NCP veteran Sharad Pawar also spoke to the BJP leader over phone and discussed the farmers’ issues.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Dec 06, 2017 20:46 IST