Mumbai/Nashik : The Left-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) on Saturday accused the Maharashtra government of having a “negative approach” to the ongoing 10-day farmers’ protest and said the stir would intensify from June 5. There has been no response from the government on the demands of the protesting farmers, AIKS general secretary Ajit Navle told reporters in Mumbai as the agitation entered its second day.

“Farmers across the state are holding protests but the government seems to have a negative approach over keeping the promises it had made to farmers last month,” he said. A meeting of farmers’ organisations was convened on Saturday and it was decided to intensify the protests from June 5, he said. “We have given a call to farmers to stop selling their produce meant for cities,” Navle said. He said that tur dal was being imported from Mozambique, sugar from Pakistan while milk and sugarcane were being procured from other states despite Maharashtra having them in abundant quantities.

“Thus, as a mark of protest, we will be gifting all these imported food items, along with milk and sugarcane, to the CM through the government’s tehsil offices,” he said.

The AIKS had led a march of thousands of farmers from Nashik in north Maharashtra to Mumbai earlier this year to press its demands such as complete and unconditional loan waiver and transfer of forest land rights to tribals. The arrival of vegetables at various market committees and collection of milk in Nashik district were affected on Saturday. “All milk dairies in the district are closed and collection centres for milk have been affected. Agitating farmers poured milk on the roads at Visapur in Yeola taluka in the morning on Saturday. Arrival of vegetables at market committees is also low,” Raju Desale, working president of the AIKS, said.

An official of the Nashik Agricultural Produce Market Committee said that the arrival of vegetables there was low due to the protest. Several farmers’ organisations have jointly called the 10-day protest, which started on Friday, across 22 states in the country demanding remunerative prices for their produce, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and farm loan waivers, among others.

Farmers betrayed by Centre, had no choice but to agitate: Sachin Pilot

Jaipur: BJP governments at the Centre and states have betrayed farmers and left them with no option but to agitate, Congress leader Sachin Pilot said. “Farmers in six states are agitating against govt policies. They are under debt and not getting minimum support price, diesel prices are on the rise and all such factors have created resentment among them,” Pilot said in a statement. “BJP failed to fulfil promises made to the farmers during elections,” he added. On the loan-waiver announced by the Rajasthan government, Pilot, the president of the state unit of the Congress said writing-off small loans in the year before assembly polls was hogwash. “The ground reality is that nearly seven farmers have committed suicide in the last fortnight in the state on not getting adequate prices for their produce,” he said. “The government should instead of showing off focus on resolving farmers’ issues so that the wastage of agricultural produce could be stopped,” Pilot said in a statement.

Long-lasting solution soon: Javadekar

Kolkata: Union Minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the agitation will stop once his govt announces support prices for crops.

It’s a non-issue: Haryana CM

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stated the reason for the protest as a ‘non-issue’. He said, “They don’t have any issue; they are just focusing on unnecessary things through this strike. Not selling produce will bring losses to farmers only,” Khattar said Besides Khattar, Madhya Pradesh Agriculture Minister Balkrishna Patidar also dismissed the issue and claimed that farmers are happy with the State and Central government. “It’s 2nd June today. Where is the strike happening? No farmers are participating in the strike. Farmers are happy with schemes that the CM has launched for them. They have faith that State and Central government will solve their problems,” Patidar said.

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