Nagpur: An 11-day “asud” or hunter yatra to highlight various issues concerning farmers in general was kicked off today from second capital of Maharashtra here.
The yatra, started from the hometown of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis here, will culminate at Vadnagar in Gujarat, the birthplace of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 21, said Bachhu Kadu, an Independent MLA from Achlapur in Amravati district, who is coordinating the programme.
The yatra is organised by Kadu’s Prahaar Sanghatna and the Shetkari Sanghatna.
The “asud” yatra was rolled out commemorating the birth anniversary of the 19th century social reformer Jyotirao Phule. “Shetkarayacha Aasud” (Cultivator’s Whipcord) was one of the accomplished works of Phule.
The MLA said that various organisations of farmers from across the country will participate in the yara, which will cover Wardha, Yavatmal, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Latur, Osmanabad, Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Pune, Ahmednagar, Nasik, Dhule, and Nandurbar towns in Maharashtra before crossing into Gujarat.
The yatra will visit Ahmedabad before it concludes at Vadnagar in Mehsana district.
Kadu said that around 1,000 farmers will donate their blood at Vadnagar on the day of culmination to draw the government’s attention to the farmers’ issues.
A fleet of buses carrying hundreds of people moved out as part of the yatra.
Lashing out at Narendra Modi government, Kadu said “‘khoon le lo par jaan mat lo’ (take blood but not life).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ‘chai pe charcha’ in Yavatmal had promised that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) will be fixed to ensure 50 per cent profit in the cost of production for farmers.”
He alleged that the farmers are not even getting 15 per cent of the MSP price.
“While Baba Ramdev can export his goods to 250 countries, there is a ban on the export of the farmers’ produce. While there is a ban on exporting cotton, tur and soybean, there is no prohibition on export of textiles,” Kadu said, adding that government should lift the ban on export.
Referring to the “sangharsh yatra” taken out jointly by the Congress and NCP in Maharashtra recently, Kadu said had Congress implemented the recommendations given by Swaminathan Commission on agriculture when it was in power, the need to organise the sangharsh yatra would not have arisen.
On the opposition’s demand for waiving loans of farmers, he said, “a loan waiver is a short-term relief and not a long-term solution. Still, this relief should be extended to farmers to provide them a temporary relief to their problems.”
Kadu alleged that the Congress and the BJP had always pursued the policy of ‘satta aali tar vyapari aani satta geli tar shetkari’ (…’remember farmers only for sake of power and cater to traders after assuming power’.)
He claimed that around 50 to 60 organisations of farmers will participate in the yatra.