Will talk only to farmers, not others: Maharashtra CM

Mumbai: Hardening his stand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said the government will talk only to the protesting farmers and not others.

State BJP leaders have been alleging that opposition NCP and Congress are behind the ongoing farmers’ strike.

Farmers’ agitation today continued in some parts of the state, despite the CM announcing a loan waiver for marginal farmers two days ago.

Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Fadnavis said, “If someone else is trying to agitate in the name of farmers, the government will not talk to these people.”

As per the government data, vehicles carrying vegetables, fruits, etc reached 149 of the total 305 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in the state today.

Leaders of the NCP and the ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena actively participated in enforcing `bandh’ in Kolhapur, Nashik, Jalgaon, Hingoli and other places.

Meanwhile, some factions of Shetkari Sanghatna, founded by the late Sharad Joshi, have decided to form a new 21-member coordination committee to decide the future course of agitation, said Girdhar Patil, agriculture expert and leader.

Speaking to reporters at Solapur, Minister for Cooperation Subhash Deshmukh alleged that the Congress and NCP-led opposition was instigating the farmers.

Meanwhile, official sources said that 1,337 tempos and trucks carrying vegetables, fruits and other items reached the APMC at neighbouring Navi Mumbai. It included 343 trucks of fruits and 486 of vegetables.

Prices of commodities were stable, officials claimed.

The government dispatched 27 milk tankers under police security via Pune-Mumbai Expressway from Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara.