Mumbai: Former NDA ally Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) has decided to work with the Congress-led UPA on issues of farmers. This was announced by SSS President MP Raju Shetti, hinting at a possible electoral alliance ahead of the 2019 general election.
Shetti met Congress President Rahul Gandhi at Delhi on Monday with Congress General Secretary Mohan Prakash and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan. After the meeting the duo announced that both parties are going in the same direction for the benefit of farmers. In August last year, Shetti quit the NDA, saying the farmers are not getting justice in NDA regime. Now he has decided to fight the next Lok Sabha elections as a UPA constituent.
Prakash informed the media that Shetti met Rahul Gandhi on Monday. The Congress has declared special focus on agrarian issues, which appealed to Shetti and he desired to work with the UPA. "We will be working together on the issues in Maharashtra. It can be considered as a positive sign towards pre-poll alliance in the state," said Chavan.
"The agrarian crisis is deepening across the country. Shetti has been working on the issues and shared his views over the issues with the Congress," Chavan said. "Though there are no talks about the assembly polls or alliance, both parties are positive about that and we will discus it in a meeting," Chavan said.
Shetti said he invited Gandhi for the convention of farmers to be held on March 29.
Shetti, however, maintained the parties would work together on farmers’ issues and a decision on any electoral alliance would be taken after discussions.
“As far as the electoral alliance with Congress is concerned, our party will discuss it first. So far, we have decided to work jointly on farmers’ issues,” he added.
The Congress on Sunday made several promises to farmers including waiving of loans, claiming that the UPA government had written off Rs 70,000 crore worth debt. Gandhi announced the setting up of a network of food parks across