Pune: While announcing Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS)’s decision to quit the ruling Nationalist Democratic Alliance (NDA), Member of Parliament(MP) Raju Shetti warned his supporters that they will now not enjoy the support from law and enforcement agencies and the bureaucracy to get their work done.
However, the party workers who were present for this meeting shouted slogans supporting their leader’s decision. Shetti then announced his decision of leaving the ruling alliance at the Centre and in the state. He was speaking against the backdrop of the executive committee members meeting of SSS in the city on Wednesday.
Since last five months, the relations between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana had deteriorated. On earlier occasions, multiple leaders of SSS have expressed their displeasure about the growing proximity of SSS leader and Minister of State for Agriculture Sadadhiv Khot with the BJP. Khot was awarded a seat in the ministry as a representative of SSS. It was observed that on one hand when Shetti chose to criticise the ruling government policies on farmers, Khot was seen supporting BJP.
On several occasions Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil openly criticised Shetti. As a rift between these two leaders widened, Shetti led many agitations and took out a rally in the State to oppose government’s agricultural policies. In last two months Shetti had time and again indicated that he would be soon saying good bye to the ruling coalition. In the first phase, the internal committee of SSS held Khot guilty for taking a pro-BJP stand and openly defying the party line. The committee then formally announced Khot’s ouster in a meeting held in Pune.
In what can be termed as the next phase of growing discontent, to formally announce party’s decision to quit NDA, a meeting of party’s executive committee was held on Wednesday. Before making an official announcement, Shetti first outlined party’s stand to support BJP during 2014 elections and spoke about how BJP has changed from its pro farmer stand. The Executive Committee members expressed displeasure about the government’s failure in implementing recommendations of Swaminathan Commission. Shetti observed that the farmers have become debt ridden during BJP rule.
Shetti announced that his party would now work to get a total loan waiver. He added that his party will now distance itself from all political parties.