Saturday, November 22, 2014

Farmers' widows to stage protest outside CM bungalow= DNA

Farmers' widows to stage protest outside CM bungalow

Sunday, 23 November 2014 - 5:35am IST | Agency: DNA

The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an aggressive farmers' advocacy group, plans to stage demonstrations outside Chief Minister's residence in Nagpur during the winter session of the assembly, which starts from December 8.
Led by Kishor Tiwari, an engineer- and MBA-turned activist, the VJAS will highlight the issue of farmer suicides in the region. Tiwari, who is the president of VJAS, is known for his inflammatory and provocative language during agitations.
Speaking to dna over phone, Tiwari pointed out that more than 4,000 farmers have committed suicide in 2014, with Vidarbha accounting for about 1,000 deaths, because of inaction on the part of the government.
Tiwari said BJP leaders, including late Gopinath Munde, had held the previous Congress-NCP government responsible for the suicides. "If the Fadnavis government is not in a position to prevent any suicide, what should we term it as?"
The firebrand leader said VJAS is left with no option but to launch an intense agitation outside Ramgiri, CM's official residence in Nagpur. Underlining the demands of the Samiti, he said, "Cotton growers whose crop has been damaged should be paid investment money plus 50 per cent of their profit in addition to loan waiver."
Stressing that the crop have been damaged on over 20,000 hectares, Tiwari said the farmers should be included in Antyoday Yojana so that they can get food-grains at least for a year. "Their children should get free education and all health schemes should be extended to them. Most important, the government should ban alcohol and gambling in Vidarbha."
Areas from Western Vidarbha and Marathwada (1,200 deaths), which largely depend on rain, have seen maximum farmer suicides, said Tiwari. The activist added that Amravati, Akola, Washim, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli and Beed are the other stages in Maharashtra where this human tragedy is playing out.
'CM understands issue well'
Tiwari said CM Fadnavis, who is from Nagpur, understands the ordeal farmers are going through. "I have sent a number of SMSes to draw his attention to the crisis. Four farmers ended their lives on the day when he took oath. The CM has been maintaining that he would look into this issue."

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