Published On : Thu, Mar 10th, 2016

Jolted Govt bows to agitating farmers, assures to pay cotton dues soon

Hunger Strike of Farmers at Sawidhaan Square
The 12-day battle waged by a number of farmers belonging to Selu Tehsil of Wardha District for receiving their cotton dues finally tasted the victory on Thursday. Around 400 farmers of Selu were fighting since past two years for receiving dues for their crops. Five of the farmers had resorted to sit-in agitation at Sanvidhan Square (RBI Square) to press for their demands. Rattled by the high-profile protest, State Government finally swung into action and assured to look into the farmers’ demands. A delegation of farmers was called to Mumbai for discussion. Subsequently, a meeting was held on Thursday in the chamber of Cooperation Minister Chandrakant Patil in Mantralaya.

Others present in the meeting include Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap, Wardha MLA Pankaj Bhoyar, District Collector Ashutosh Salil and the delegation of farmers comprising Ram Narayan Pathak, Prof Mohan Sanwalkar, Omkareshwar Kakde, High Court lawyer Satendra Sanyal and Niraj Khandewale.

Hunger Strike of Farmers at Sawidhaan Square (1)
According to the delegation, a positive discussion was held on the issue. The State Government reportedly accepted injustice being done to the farmers. The Government has assured the delegation that the farmers’ dues will be paid within 15-20 days. Four possible alternatives were discussed for making the payment to farmers including selling off the property of Sunil Talatule the owner of Shrikrishna Ginning and Pressing Mill, through Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, through Marketing Department Fund or in accordance with the judgement of Supreme Court in this matter. The Government has said that it will choose a better option for clearing the farmers’ dues.

Hunger Strike of Farmers at Sawidhaan Square (2)
The moment the news of successful discussion with State Government reached Nagpur, a wave of happiness erupted in Nagpur. The agitating farmers thanked the government for taking the initiative to resolve the long-pending issue. However, the five farmers staging the sit-in agitation namely Avinash Dhotesheel Kakde, Sudam Ishwarrao Pawar, Avinash Pundlikrao Kakde, Niraj Kumar and Arun Wargane have refused to call of the agitation until the Government gives a written assurance.

Hunger Strike of Farmers at Sawidhaan Square (3)
Even though the Wardha District Collector Ashutosh Salil and MLA Pankaj Bhoyar phoned the agitators and informed them about Government’s assurance it failed to cut the ice. The District Collector is reaching Nagpur on Friday morning by Vidarbha Express and the agitation is likely to be called of in his presence.