Maharashtra farmers ended their protest yesterday (March 12) after getting assurance from chief minister Devendra Fadnavis over many issues. Farmers are now threatening of hunger strike and Jail Bharo Andolan if their demands are not met.
The farmers’ steering committee, an umbrella organisation of 35 farmers’ unions, will hold a day-long ‘anna satyagraha’ or hunger strike on March 19. “The BJP-Shiv Sena government has failed to stop farmers’ suicides. The hunger strike is our way of displaying solidarity with the families of thousands of farmers who have died,” said Raghunath Patil, chief of the Shetakari Sanghatana, reported Mumbai Mirror.
The date chosen for the hunger strike is significant, said Amar Habib of Kisanputra Andolan. According to Habib, the state recorded its first farmer’s suicide on March 19, 1986. “A farmer named Sahebrao Karpe from Yavatmal was the first to commit suicide over two decades ago,” said Habib.
Sushma Morale of Beed’s Shetakari Sangharsh Samiti said that the hunger strike will be followed by a state-wide ‘jail bharo andolan’ on April 30. “We will also demand complete loan waiver and pension for farmers,” said Morale. Other unions are also on the same page and have said that they will intensify their stir in upcoming days. The steering committee had successfully called for 11-day farmers’ strike last year.