Tribal farm widows burn Mah. Agri. Minister's effigy :demands complete loan waiver
Hundreds of tribal farm widows and drought hit farmers joined today flash protest ,called by farmers' advocacy group from Vidarbha on Sunday in which effigy of Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Eknath Khadse over his remarks that the government has no solution to stop farmland suicides.
"there is massive unrest against ongoing apathy towards serious drought and starvation of tribal and now insensitive statements on such a sensitive issue which is a matter of concern for not only Maharashtra, but farm communities in India and the whole world has added fuel resulting massive protest demanding complete farm loan waiver and hike in minimum support price (MSP) as promised by prime minister Narendra Modi as main election promise ," Kishore Tiwari, president of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), informed in press note
Tribal farm widows who participated in protest strongly objected Khadse's view that tribals don't commit suicides as they are "morally strong" and urged him look in to fact that every second farmer is a tribal in Vidarbha and this can be verified from official records.tribal farm wdiows requested the minister to visit the homes of Yavatmal district's tribal farmers Madhukar Pendore (Runjha village), Ramesh Godam (Joginkawade), Kavdu Vetti (Mangurda), Tanba Todsam (Boregaon), who ended their lives in 2015.if there are no concrete solutions to completely stop farmers suicides in the state..then he should step down ,farm widows asked
Tiwari said: "It is mockery of the very issue of farmers 'genocide' by Khadse. As per official records, more than 50 percent of the victims are from ST and SC which have always been denied institutional credit, exploited by private moneylenders and have no access to government welfare schemes."
Tiwari said the agrarian crisis became critical owing to introduction of new seeds and new cultivation methods, cash crops replacing sustainable drought-prone food crops around the state since 1998.
He pointed out how more than a dozen commissions, committees, expert panels and research groups have submitted comprehensive reports and recommendations to curb farmland suicides and yet Khadse feels there is no solution.
"He must immediately resign," he demanded.
The VJAS reiterated how the BJP leaders wooed the farmers for their votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections by making tall promises, and in one year the government has shrugged off responsibility by saying there is no solution.