Pune/Nashik: The newly-formed steering committee of striking farmers in the State gave a period of two days to the State government to announce a complete loan waiver and said farmers will not step back unless a blanket loan waiver is announced.
Lashing out at the State government, Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) leader and Member of Parliament Raju Shetti demanded a blanket loan waiver to farmers in the State. The committee announced that a sit out protest will be staged on June 12 outside tehsildar and district collector’s offices across the State. He added that as a next step, a rail roko will be staged on June 13.
The new core committee has members such Swabhimani Paksha MP Raju Shetti, Shetakari Sanghatana leader Raghunath Patil and MLA Bacchu Kadu. The farmers’ agitation and the ruling government’s allies insisting on a complete loan waiver is considered an important political development in view of the assembly elections in 2019.
The leaders launched a stringent attack on the State government for not announcing a blanket loan waiver and said they will ensure the resonance of this agitation reaches Delhi. It may be recalled that CM Devendra Fadnavis has promised a loan waiver to small farmers having five acres or less land. In suicide prone Vidarbha and Marathwada, a government appointed committee will make a list of farmers who are incapable to pay back loans regardless of the size of their lands.
The government has also appointed a committee to find out needy farmers under the guidance of Chandrakant Dalvi, Pune Divisional Commissioner.
Shetti was speaking following a meeting of steering committee members in Nashik on Friday. While lashing out at the government, Shetti warned the government of dire consequences if their demand of a blanket loan waiver is turned down. Speaking about the government’s decision to give loan waiver to only small farmers, Shetti said that he is repenting his decision for having supported this government during the last general election. He added that he is ashamed to know that his party member was present among those who brokered a truce with agitating farmers.
Shetti, a convener of newly-formed steering committee, said the committee is ready to hold discussions with the government but they will not step back unless the government announces a blanket loan waiver. Attacking the government over its statement that farmers’ leaders will be exposed, Shetti challenged the government to expose him and said he is not interested in remaining with the government if it does not announce a blanket loan waiver.