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Not more than 10,000 farmers will take part in loan waiver strike: Maha agriculture minister

Mumbai: Maharashtra agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar on Wednesday expressed confidence that farmers will not take part in the strike that is set to start from Thursday as it would result in huge losses for them.

A section of farmers from Ahmednagar district have decided to go on a strike, stopping supply of milk, fruits, poultry and vegetables to neighbouring cities, to press for their various demands.

"Vegetables and milk are perishable items. Farmers cannot not bear losses (by refusing to sell them). Farmers spend substantial amount of money and time on producing vegetables," the BJP leader said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Of some 1.5 lakh farmers in Ahmednagar and neighbouring Nashik districts, not more than 10,000 would take part in the strike, he claimed.

"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will have a 'plan B' ready to face any situation if farmers stop sending vegetables and milk to Mumbai," Fundkar said.

Meanwhile, Shivajirao Suryawanshi, the farmers' leader who has called for the strike and who met Fadnavis last night, told reporters here that he objected to presence of Minister of State for Agriculture Sadabhau Khot at the meeting.

"Khot did nothing for farmers despite representing them in the state cabinet.... Hence I opposed Khot's presence in the meeting and left it midway through," said Suryawanshi.

Fundkar, who was not present at the meeting, however claimed that Suryawanshi wanted the Chief Minister to announce loan waiver for farmers on the spot, and left the meeting after two and a half hours of discussion.

Meanwhile, BJP national vice-president Vinay Sahastrabuddhe also said in Mumbai that farmers would face heavy financial loss due to the strike.

"A certain ideology is forcing farmers to go on strike. It is very sad.... I think the farmers will not succumb to the strike call," he said.

On Tuesday, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari had suggested that local communist leaders were behind the strike.

Published Date: Jun 01, 2017 07:46 AM | Updated Date: Jun 01, 2017 09:17 AM

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