Yashwant Sinha Calls off Three-Day Protest for Farmer’s Rights

Yashwant Sinha Calls off Three-Day Protest for Farmer’s Rights

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A defiant BJP veteran leader Yashwant Sinha, who had been protesting at Akola over farmer’s issues for the past three days and was even been detained for it, called off the protest on Wednesday, 6 December, stating that his talk with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured him that all their “demands will be met,” reported PTI.

The Chief Minister spoke to me at 11 am today (6 December). We had a good discussion. I apprised him about the farmers demands. He gave an assurance to accept the demands. 
Yashwant Sinha to PTI

To this, the Congress raised their suspicions that the order to call off the protests must have come from a “big boss” in Delhi, so that Sinha could not continue to “expose” the ruling party, especially in light of the upcoming Gujarat polls.

Sinha, who was detained in Akola on Monday, 4 December, had earlier on Tuesday vowed not to move out of the place, where he spent the night, till demands of the farmers of Vidarbha region are accepted.

The former union minister, who has had frequent run-ins with the current BJP leadership, was detained while protesting against the state government's “apathy” towards the farmers of Vidarbha in Maharashtra. He was taken to the district police headquarters and later released.

However, the 80-year-old leader refused to leave and sat on a dharna at the police ground, where he spent the night. He said he will not budge from the venue till all demands raised by farmers are met.

The former finance minister said the government does not appear serious about solving the problems being faced by agriculturists.

Sinha said he spoke to several local and national leaders about issues related to cultivators.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray's media advisor Harshal Pradhan told PTI that Thackeray and Sinha spoke on the phone on Tuesday, 5 December, and discussed farmers’ issues.

Sinha had earlier said there had been no communication with Fadnavis over the half-a-dozen demands by farmers. The district administration, however, claimed a majority of the demands have been accepted.

The demands include compensation to cotton farmers for losses incurred due to pink bollworm infestation, action against companies manufacturing “bogus” biotechnologically modified seeds, and 100 percent payout for crop losses to moong, udad and soyabean farmers.

They are also demanding that bank officials and administration execute loan waivers by personally visiting gram panchayats.

The other demands are uninterrupted power supply to agricultural pump sets, removal of “unjust” conditions from the gold mortgage waiver scheme of the government for farmers, and purchase of all farm produce at MSP by NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India).

Except for the last one (related to MSP), which is a call to be taken by the Central government, we have accepted all six demands and have requested the protesters led by Sinha to call off their stir.
District Administration Official

Also Read: Yashwant Sinha Goes All Out: ‘Modi Like Tughlaq, Jaitley a Burden’

Sinha said the “excuse” about NAFED purchase is not valid as the BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have been procuring farm produce through their own systems.

"Why can't the Maharashtra government (led by the BJP) then do it?" the bureaucrat-turned-politician asked.

Officials said after the detention of Sinha and 150-odd farmers on Monday, they were told around 9:30 pm that they were free and can go.

Since they decided to stay put, they were provided food, water, blankets and toilet facilities at the protest venue, Akola SP M Rajesh Kalasagar said.

Cong Condemns Sinha’s Detention

The Congress condenmed the detention of Sinha while terming the state government’s loan waiver “a cruel joke” on the lakhs of farmers there.

Even as 35 farmers commit suicide daily in the country, the BJP-ruled Maharashtra government has played a cruel joke on the lakhs of farmers of the state.The fascist shades of the BJP have come to the fore yesterday (Monday) in Maharashtra, where senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was detained by the Maharashtra Police in Akola, along with 250 farmers.
Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan

“Their only crime was that they were protesting against the insensitive policies of the BJP government, which have severely affected the cotton farmers of Vidarbha,” he added.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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