The Raju Shetti-led Swambimani Shetkari Sanghatna- which is an ally of the BJP in Maharashtra- has threatened to boycott the farmers’ rally being organised by the NCP during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Baramati on the invitation of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
The farmers have threatened to hold an agitation if the Prime Minister lands up in Baramati on February 14 and shares dais with the Pawars.
Speaking to this paper, Rajendra Dhawan-Patil, the Pune District president of the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna, said,”We have faxed a letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to avoid sharing dias with the Pawars. We hope the Prime Minister will not join hands with the Pawar and embarrassment for one and all, including the BJP, Shiv Sena and our Shetkari Sanghatna,” he said.
Reminding Modi that he had promised to free people of Baramati from the “gulam-giri of the uncle-nephew duo, Dhawan-Patil said,”The PM had loud and clear said that people should vote BJP to power and then he would free them from the gulam-giri of the uncle-nephew duo. The entire nation heard this promise on live television.
If the Prime Minister has decided to join hands with the people who have kept farmers as “gulam,” then the BJP, Sena and the Shetkari Sanghatna who are sharing power in the state will have no face to show to the people of Maharashtra. BJP in fact will lose its credibility in the state,” he said, adding,”It will be highly unfortunate if the PM failes to listen to the farmers’ voices.”
During the state assembly elections in October, Modi had addressed a huge rally in Baramati and attacked the Pawar for keeping Baramatikars as “gulam”. In his address, Modi had said,”It’s been decades since the country got independence but the people of Baramati are yet to break free of the Pawar family’s slavery.
Every time the people need something they have to go and fall at their feet. If they want jobs or water or even proper price for the sugarcane they have to go and salute the Pawars. Isn’t this slavery? But I feel now that the farmers of Baramati have awakened. The huge crowd at this rally is indicative of which way the wind is blowing, it has foretold the future of the uncle and the nephew.”
During his visit to Baramati on February 14, Modi will inaugurate a new Krishi Vigyan Kendra building, a project which was approved by the Agriculture Ministry headed by Sharad Pawar in the UPA government. Modi will also address a farmers’ rally on the occasion. Besides, he will inaugurate a hostel at Vidya Prathisthan school which belongs to the Pawar family.
When contacted,Raju Shetti who heads the Swawbhimani Shetkari Sanghatana said, “I am aware of the anger among farmers of Baramati…They have told me about their plan to urge the Prime Minister not to visit Baramati.” He refuse to comment further. Instead of visiting the projects set up Pawars, the farmers said, Modi should instead visit 60 per cent of the dry are of Baramati. “Only 40 per cent of Baramati is green while rest of the Baramati is thirsting for water. Modi should visit the areas where people are waiting for a Prime Minister for years,” said Dhawan-Patil.