Vidharba shutdown Thursday for farmers’demands

December 14th, 2011 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai/Nagpur, Dec 14 (IANS) Even as Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan declared a Rs.2,000 crore bailout package for the state’s crisis-ridden farmers, the Shiv Sena-BJP-RPI alliance has vowed to intensify the Vidarbha shutdown called by them, party officials said.

“The alliance of the Shiv Sena, Bharatiya Janta Party and Republican Party of India has called for a bandh in Vidarbha, north Maharashtra and Marathwada Thursday and we have no plans to call it off,” Leader of Opposition in the assembly Eknath Khadse told IANS.

“The state government has failed to solve problems of farmers in these regions. By announcing a bailout package of such a measly sum, the government is only increasing the problems of crisis-ridden farmers,” he added.

Chavan announced the bailout package in the assembly’s winter session Wednesday, stating that the farmers will be compensated on a per hectare basis.

Khadse said that the state has around 40 lakh hectares of land for cotton farming which is the worst-hit this year. “How is a package of Rs 2,000 crore even going to suffice?” he questioned.

“Moreover, paddy and soya farmers are also facing crop failure problems. These are grown in around 30 lakh hectares. So Rs 2,000 crore for 70 lakh hectares of land is less than even peanuts,” he added.

Supporting the shutdown will be Nagpur-based Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an activist group working for cotton farmer rights in Vidarbha.

“The agrarian crisis in Vidarbha and Marathwada is too serious to neglect and the attitude of the government is pushing the issue to a pathetic situation,” said Kishor Tiwari, president of VJAS.

Along with the shutdown, the farmers and party workers will block National Highway No 6 and 7 to press for their demands.

Indo-Asian News Service

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