MUMBAI: ON a day when Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar urged farmers in Maharashtra to intensify their protests until their demands are met, shortage of vegetables and spike in their prices loomed over the people of Mumbai on Friday.
In Ahmednagar, the umbrella group of agitating farmers threatened to intensify the stir by ‘locking down’ government offices starting June 6.
“Our protest will continue until all demands are met. We have called for a shut-down of entire Maharashtra on June 5, except Mumbai. On June 6, we will lock down all government offices and on June 7, we will lock down offices of MPs and MLAs,” members of Kisan Kranti Core Committee told media representatives in Ahmednagar.
Leaders of the farmer’s agitation reached Mumbai in the evening and are expected to hold another round of talks with the Chief Minister late in the night. Activist Anna Hazare is mediating the talks, sources said.
The situation in Nashik district remained peaceful on Friday, the second day of the farmers’ strike, but all agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) remained shut. Nashik district is the biggest producer of onion in the country. Most of the onion trade takes place through APMCs.
“Until farmers get a complete loan waiver and the government agrees to all their demands, farmers should ensure their unity and continue with their agitation,” Pawar said here after the steering committee of the farmers’ agitation decided to continue with its protest during their meeting at Puntambe in Ahmednagar district. “Instead of wasting vegetables and milk, farmers should rather distribute all of it to poor people in villages and thereby strengthen their agitation,” he added. (With PTI inputs)
Nashik city faces shortage
Nashik city on Friday faced shortage of veggies and milk. Many milk vendors in the city joined the protest called by farmers. Agitators stopped vehicles carrying vegetables, fruits and milk at many places. They stopped milk-tankers heading for Hyderabad from Gujarat at the Sonagir toll-gate in neighbouring Dhule district. Protesters also staged road-roko on the Nashik-Pune highway at Sinnar. In a poignant sight, poor people were seen picking food grains and veggies thrown on roads by agitators at Siddhi Pimpri in Nashik district.