Fadnavis announces "biggest-ever" waiver for marginal farmers

Fadnavis announces

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the government is listening the demands of our farmers in detail and assures that the government will form the committee to maintain the rates of vegetables according to the benefit of the farmers across the state. After meeting with the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, farmers have called off their state wide strike.

The entire core committee took the call to withdraw the strike for a period of four months since the government had agreed to most of our demands.

Since the start of the stir, farmers had blocked trucks carrying produces in various parts of the state and also thrown milk and vegetables on the streets. The decision was taken after a three-hour long marathon discussion, which began at midnight, with Fadnavis when the government assured they would fulfill nearly all the farmers' demands.

All India Kisan Sabha has called a meeting of all farmers' outfits on June 8 at Nashik to prepare a road map for the movement to demand loan waivers for all 1.34 crore farmers of the state. "When the announcement to call off the stir was made around 4 am, we were let off from the police station", he said. However, Darikar claimed that national political parties and farmer organisations "that had not garnered much success earlier" chose to continue the protest "to make trouble and scare people off". He said a committee will be appointed to study the extent to which farm loans can be waived off, which will be out on October 31.

In Satara, about a hundred farmers tonsured themselves and took out a "funeral procession" of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

An AAP spokesperson said its activists have joined the agitation in several parts of the state and are creating an awareness drive in urban areas to highlight the plight of the farming community.

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Farmers continued their protest by throwing agricultural commodities on state and national highways while some resorted to rasta roko and march.

Ashok Dhawale, Vice President of Maharashtra State Kisan Council said that the decision to call off the strike was taken single handedly and was a "betrayal" of farmers. He also offered to mediate between the farmers and the Maharashtra government.

Amidst the confusing and politically-charged scenario, it remained unclear whether supplies of fresh milk, fruits, vegetables and foodgrains would resume to major urban and semi-urban centres which have experienced acute shortages coupled with soaring prices. However, the decision has not gone down well with the farmers and some of them have chose to continue the strike and violent protests continued in Ahmednagar and Nashik districts.

Core committee leader Jayajirao Suryavanshi was roughed up in Ahmednagar when he returned after the meeting. "Instead of dumping vegetables and milk on road, farmers should distribute it to the poor in villages", Pawar said.

Farmers in Nashik district are opposing acquisition o land for the proposed Super Communication Expressway which will connect Mumbai and Nagpur.

"I support the farmers' cause, but I appeal to them to carry out the agitation peacefully". He blamed the opposition parties for pressuring farmers to continue protesting.