Shiv Sena demands better price for sugarcane

November 8th, 2011 - 11:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Uddhav Thackeray Mumbai, Nov 8 (IANS) Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray Tuesday demanded a better price for sugarcane growers in Maharashtra, failing which the party would intensify its agitation.

“The Shiv Sena is part of the ongoing agitation but we will intensify it if the government does not take a decision in the matter soon,” Thackeray told media persons after meeting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan here.

After meeting the delegation led by Thackeray, Chavan said a decision would be taken following a discussion in the cabinet Wednesday.

The issue, simmering for the past few days, suddenly came into focus Tuesday as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati announced minimum support price of Rs.2,500 per tonne for sugarcane farmers in her state.

The Shiv Sena leader’s meeting with Chavan and other top officials came in the background of protests and demonstrations in different parts of the state by farmers demanding better remunerative prices for their crops.

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana chief and Swabhimani Party MP Raju Shetti from Kolhapur Monday led a procession from the temple town of Pandharpur in Kolhapur to Baramati in Pune, demanding Rs.2,350 per tonne for the crushing season 2011-12.

He launched an indefinite hunger strike Tuesday in Baramati - the home town of Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, and his MP daughter Supriya Sule as well as nephew and state deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

This prompted top state government officials to assure that they would hold discussions on the issue and take a decision in the matter soon.

Besides sugarcane, Thackeray in his two-page memorandum submitted to Chavan, demanded better remunerative prices for cotton, soya and pulses to ensure that farmers do not fall into a debt trap.

He said till Monday, around 665 debt-ridden farmers had committed suicide in different parts of the state this year, even as Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti Tuesday announced another seven farmland suicides, taking the total toll till date to 671.

The state government recently announced Rs.1,450 per tonne, which Thackeray described as “very low, and a cruel joke on the farmers”. He demanded Rs.2,300 and then hike it to Rs.2,800.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) expressed support to Shetti’s agitation and a delegation of party legislators went to meet him in Baramati in the evening.

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