Farmers’ body excludes Mumbai from the state-wide bandh; wants government to act on the issue of loan waiver immediately
Maharashtra farmers stepped up agitation on the fourth day of the ongoing strike to press for complete loan waiver and remunerative price for agricultural produce among other things. They dumped fruits and vegetables and blocked state and national highways while at some places they forced winding up of weekly markets.
On Sunday, various organisations met at Nashik and decided to call for a state-wide bandh, excluding Mumbai, on June 5. These organisations reiterated their dissatisfaction regarding the deal struck between Kisan Kranti Morcha (KKM) and the state Chief Minister Devendra Fandavis who announced a loan waiver of Rs 30,000 crore to 31 lakh farmers by October 31.
The Maharashtra Kisan Sabha leader Comrade Ajit Nawale, who was present at the meeting in Nashik, told DNA, “Farmers want action not mere announcements. Therefore, the decision was taken not to withdraw the strike and go for a Maharashtra bandh on June 5. The strike will continue and future course of action will be decided at the Nashik rally on June 8.”
Incidentally, BJP’s ally Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) have decided to actively join Monday’s bandh, while another ally Shiv Sena and opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party have also extended their support.
Farmers continued their protest by throwing agricultural commodities on state and national highways while some resorted to a rasta roko and march. The police fired bullet rounds in the air at Dalwat in Nashik district to control the protesting farmers who had unloaded trucks carrying tomatoes and onions on the road. The police also resorted to lathi charge as some farmers allegedly pelted stones on police vehicles. About 150 farmers were later taken into the custody by the police.
Despite agitation, nearly 11 milk tankers and 194 trucks loaded with vegetables were on their way to the city in the midst of a tight police security cover.
The weekly markets and wholesale markets mostly remained shut in Ahmednagar, Dhule, Nandurbar, Solapur, Pandharpur, Pune, Jalana and Osmanabad districts while the arrival of agricultural commodities was low at most of the agricultural produce marketing committees.
Meanwhile, the prices of vegetables in city markets were seen crawling back to normal rates. While vegetables available continued to be less, the prices of some of the perishables that had sky-rocketed on Saturday fell drastically.
Potato Rs 20 / kg (Rs 25)*
Onion Rs 20 / kg (Rs 25)
Tomato Rs 60 / kg (Rs 120-160)
Ladies’ finger Rs 80 / kg (Rs 80)
Brinjal Rs 50 / kg (Rs 80)
Cauliflower Rs 60 / kg (Rs 120-180)
Cabbage Rs 60 / kg (Rs 60)
Brinjal Rs 60/kg (Rs 80)*
Tomato Rs 70/kg (Rs 100)
Cauliflower Rs 80/kg (Rs 100)
Potato Rs 20/kg (Rs 30)
Onion Rs 20/kg (Rs 30)
Ladies’ finger Rs 60/kg (Rs 80)
Brinjal120/kg (Rs 100)*
Tomato80/kg (Rs 140)
Cauliflower80/kg (Rs 100)
Potato20/kg (Rs 24)
Onion20/kg (Rs 24)
Ladyfinger80/kg (Rs 80)
*Prices as on June 3, 2017