Protesting farmers to hold talks with govt

Protesting farmers to hold talks with govt

Farmers’ groups of Maharashtra have decided to initiate a dialogue with the government to discuss loan waiver and implementation of the M S Swaminathan Committee recommendations, among others. 

The farmers are also demanding fresh loans coinciding with the monsoon.

Members of the steering committee of various farmers’ groups arrived in Mumbai and held a meeting for several hours on Saturday, during which they decided to meet the six-member Group of Ministers (GoM) appointed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

On Sunday, they will meet the committee — headed by Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil and comprising ministers  Pandurang Pundkar (agriculture); Sudhir Mungantiwar (finance, planning and forest); Subhash Deshmukh (co-operation); Girish Mahajan (water resources) — all from the BJP, and Diwakar Raote (transport) of the Shiv Sena.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana leader Raju Shetti, Peasants and Workers Party chief Jayant Patil and farmers’ leader Raghunathdada Patil announced the decision to attend the meeting following an invitation from the Maharashtra government.

The core committee will take a final call on the protests and rail roko, scheduled for June 12 and 13. “As announced earlier, our agitation continues... We will go for the meeting and take a call after knowing the government’s stand,” Shetti said.

However, agricultural economist Giridhar Patil took objection to the decision-making process of the committee and accused it of being politically motivated. He, along with president of Shetkari Sanghatana Anil Ghanvat, boycotted Saturday’s meeting.

“The farmers have formed the steering committee with great trust. But many of the committee members are politically motivated and acting in their own interest rather than pursuing the interests of the farmers,” Ramchandra told reporters in Nashik.

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