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Maharashtra farmers’ strike: CM Devendra Fadnavis forms high-powered committee to discuss various demands

The newly constituted committee will impulse each of these farmers’ organisations on district-level to be a part of the discussion and put forward their recommendations and demands. (Image: PTI)

Devendra Fadnavis, Maharashtra chief minister, has formed a high-powered committee of senior ministers to find out ways in consultation with farmers’ organisations to end the ongoing unrest in the state. Even as the state government has announced a loan waiver for small and marginal farmers, the farmers’ organisations have continued with their protests. The move to set up the committee is being seen as a step to address the several issues of the faction-ridden farmers’ groups.

The Indian Express reported on Saturday that in a likely attempt to bring together Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government and its alliance partner in a dialogue process, a Shiv Sena minister has also been included in the committee to be headed by Chandrakant Patil, Maharashtra state minister for revenue and public works.

Other ministers in the committee are agriculture minister Pandurang Phundkar, finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, minister for cooperation and markets Subash Deshmukh, water resources minister Girish Mahajan and minister for transport Diwakar Raote. The committee includes five BJP ministers and a Shiv Sena minister.

Fadnavis on Friday said, “The committee will hold discussions with all the farmers’ organisations. I once again appeal to all the farmers’ organisations to come forward and give their recommendations to the government on the farmers’ welfare.”

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Fadnavis also held a meeting on June 1 and 2 with Kisan Kranti Morcha and agreed to all their demands which included a loan waiver and a proper minimum support price. The earlier meetings seemed to have no farmers’ organisation acceptable to all. This time the committee has decided to hold talks with farmers’ organisations from across the state.

The newly constituted committee will approach all farmers’ organisations at district-level, to make them a part of the discussion and put forward their recommendations and demands. “The ministerial committee will discuss with farmers’ groups to urge them to take a realistic view of the loan waiver and ensure that beneficiaries are needy and poor with small land holdings less than 5 acres,” government sources told Indian Express.