MUMBAI: Though the land belongs to the Defence Ministry, the government should have been more considerate while handling the farmers’ agitation at Nevali on Thursday, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress
Committee (MPCC) president Ashok Chavan has said. He also criticised the manner in which the State government tried to curb the agitation and said it shows the anti-farmer mentality of the government.
“The government should have been more considerate about the farmers who are agitated at the prospect of losing their livelihood. The land might be in the name of Defence Ministry. But, that doesn’t justify the use of pellet guns,” Chavan said. “Use of pellet guns show the insensitivity of the BJP government towards the farmers,” Chavan added.
Ganpat Gaikwad, sitting MLA from the area where the villagers launched an agitation on Thursday, said he never expected the people to turn so violent and has been speaking to to the protesters and trying to calm them down.
Gaikwad, who was with the Congress earlier, won his place in the State Assembly as an independent candidate in 2014, but soon joined hands with the BJP. Dr Shrikant Shinde, who represents the area in
Lok Sabha belongs to Shiv Sena. He is the son of Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde.
When asked about the agitation, Eknath Shinde said that though the issue is 75 years old and there is a lot of anger among the villagers, efforts are being made to find an amicable solution keeping in view the national interest.
“We have been trying to resolve the issue. Dr Shrikant had been following it up with MoS Defence Bhamre for a long time and we hope that a solution that would please all would be reached soon,” Shinde added.
Sham Patil, secretary of the Shri Malang gad Parisar Jamin Bachav Andolan Samiti, identifies himself with the Shiv Sena. “They are all our own people. Yet, they have not been able to resolve our problem,” he said while referring to Shinde and Gaikwad.
“We have guts to withstand the police atrocities and pellet guns. But we feel helpless when our own people become our adversaries,” Patil said, highlighting the real trauma of the people in the vicinity of Nevali.