Thursday, 17 November 2011

CM's meet on cotton agitation inconclusive-TIMES OF INDIA

Printed from -TIMES OF INDIA
CM's meet on cotton agitation inconclusive
Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN | Nov 18, 2011, 03.40AM IST
MUMBAI: Even as an agitation launched by cotton-growing farmers took a violent turn in several parts of the Vidarbha region, a high-level meeting convened by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to resolve the dispute remained inconclusive.
"The CM discussed the situation arising out of the farmer massive agitation launched by the farmers, but no decision was taken. He has now convened a meeting of opposition members next week," a senior bureaucrat told TOI on Thursday.
On Monday, Chavan and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had assured that they will take up the cause of the agitating farmers with prime minister Manmohan Singh; however, the meeting did not materialize since the PM had to leave on an official foreign tour.
Farmers leader Kishore Tiwari came down heavily on the Congress-NCP government, saying that at a juncture when farmers suicides have crossed the 700 mark in the current year, the government seems to be taking a casual approach in tackling the agrarian crisis. "We are shocked and surprised over the approach of the government.
Instead of taking a quick policy decision, the government was knocking at the doors of the PMO. We demand that Chavan declare an interim relief of Rs 10,000 per hectare to resolve the dispute and later take it up with the PMO," Tiwari said. He added that when an agitation was launched by the sugarcane growers from west Maharashtra, the government quickly swung into action and announced a package. "The CM and deputy CM should show the same urgency for cotton growers too," Tiwari said.
All political parties, barring Congress and NCP, and some NGOs have launched an indefinite agitation to press their demand for a price of Rs 6,000 per quintal of cotton as against the support price of Rs 3,000 per quintal announced by the centre.
Apparently, the state has taken the view that since it was the responsibility of the centre, particularly the cotton corporation of India, to procure cotton bales at support price, it has a little role to play in the entire deal. If the support price is hiked to Rs 4500 to Rs 5000 per quintal, then agitating farmers may be pacified to some extent,'' the bureaucrat said.

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