Farmers’ issues: Supriya, NCP leaders protest against govt

Mumbai: Senior NCP leaders including party MP Supriya Sule today took to the street in Maharashtra’s drought hit Marathwada region as they protested against the “apathetic” attitude of the BJP-led government to the plight of farmers. Sule, a Lok Sabha member from Baramati protested in Jalna, while former state minister Anil Deshmuk led the agitation in Nanded.

In Osamanbad and Parbhani, senior leader Padamsinh Patil and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde led the ‘Rasta Roko’ agitation respectively while former Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Dilip Walse Patil spearheaded the protest in Aurangabad. All the leaders courted arrest following the protest.

State NCP president Sunil Tatkare told reporters here that 2.5 lakh farmers in the 8 districts of Marathwada region joined the protest. “The ‘rasta roko’ and ‘jail bharo’ agitation took place at 106 places in 8 districts of Marathwada and Buldhana district of Vidarbha,” he said.

The Sharad Pawar-led party has organised a three day “Jail Bharo” agitation to highlight the government’s failure to address woes of farmers. Meanwhile, to a question on whether ACB summons had anything to do with he and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had stayed away from the agitation, Tatkare said ,”both myself and Ajit dada (Ajit Pawar) were asked by our leadership to stay in the party office and monitor the agitation and ensure that it is conducted peacefully.”

He said,” those attempting to find a link between our non-participation in the agitation and the ACB summons are belittling the seriousness of the drought and farmers problems.” The state NCP chief also said he welcomed the inquiry into the irrigation scam and assured all co-operation in the probe.

“We will co-operate with the ACB,” he said when asked about the summons. Maharashtra ACB has asked Tatkare to report on September 15 and Pawar, the next day on September 16.

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