Why are Maharashtra farm outfits not marching to Delhi? | Pune News – DollarJob

Why are Maharashtra farm outfits not marching to Delhi? | Pune News

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UNLIKE THE farm protest of 2020-21, farm leaders and farmers from Maharashtra have not thrown their weight behind the ongoing farm protest in Delhi. Leaders, such as former MP Raju Shetti, who had played an important part in the 2020 farmers’ protests, are supporting the stir but are not physically travelling to the protest site.

One key reason why farm leaders from Maharashtra are avoiding the ongoing protests is rooted in the state’s historical support for free market principles and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Sharad Joshi, the late farm leader and founder of the union Shetkari Sanghatana, had supported open market economics for the prosperity of the farm sector. Anil Ghanwat, now leading the political wing of the Sanghatana, explained their decision to abstain from the protest, citing a misalignment with their ideological stance, particularly regarding the demand for WTO withdrawal. Despite the massive turnout from Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh during the 2020-21 agitation, Ghanwat and his Sanghtana maintained a safe distance.

Two times MP Shetti has lent his support to the strike but decided against going to Delhi to participate in the protests. “One of the demands of the farmers is to make the government -declared Minimum Support Price (MSP) legally binding to trade. I support the same,” he said.

Sources close to Shetti cited lack of dialogue on part of the Punjab farmers and the tactics adopted by them to fight for their demands as the main reasons for their absence from the protest. “Last time, we were caught unawares when farmers stormed into the Red Fort,” said sources.

Festive offer

Currently, Shetti is concentrating on winning back the Hatkangale Lok Sabha seat in Kolhapur, which he lost in 2019.

Ghanwat however said MSP can’t be made legally payable as it goes against the basics of market economics. “Back in 2018, when the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis decided to make non-payment of MSP a punishable offence, traders boycotted market committees. Without a robust alternative to the mandis, we can’t make MSP payable as a legal binding on the trade,”he said.



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