Top Uddhav Thackeray aide demands farmers' commission

Top Uddhav Thackeray aide demands farmers' commission

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI photo)

A top aide and advisor of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has suggested that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to create Maharashtra Farmers' Rights Commission (MFRC) to address agrarian issues and put an end to suicides by farmers.

The suggestion has come from veteran farm activist Kishore Tiwari, the founder of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti. Tiwari, who was once close to BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Devendra Fadnavis, has joined the Shiv Sena ahead of Vidhan Sabha polls,  and currently advises Thackeray, the Shiv Sena president, and CM on agrarian issues.

"In Maharashtra last month, there have been 300 farmers' suicides," said Tiwari, who is based in Pandharkawada in Yavatmal district.

Tiwari said that the farmers' suicides are a three-decade-old issue and there is a need for a restoration of the rural economy," he said, adding that an MFRC would be able to address various issues.

It should have full judicial power in line with Human Rights Commission in Centre and states and powered independent experts to address core issues.
Some of the issues that Tiwari mentioned are credit supply policy control, fund management for the cost of cultivation or stabilisation of agricultural prices, equal distribution of water resources and control of rain and underground water resources.

Besides, there is the planning of crop management and management of a competent disaster management system, planning, and farming of agricultural conservation and agricultural storage processing system.

"With the introduction of a programme of radical change in these five areas and integrated reform in the administrative framework would usher in a change," he said.

Tiwari, who was chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swabhlamban Mission, says that the major causes of India's agrarian crisis are due to mistakes in these five key areas.

Coupled with this, there are issues like health, social imbalances, problems of employment as well as the rapid elimination of water resources and livelihoods.

"Therefore, debt relief, subsidies, free food, and free health services are not permanent solutions on the agricultural crisis, hence the formation of MFRC and addressing the core issues in the following areas are very important," he said.

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