New Delhi: The farmers’ stir in Madhya Pradesh could cost the BJP an important ally from Maharashtra with the Lok Sabha MP and leader of Swabhimani Paksha, Raju Shetti, all set to meet the JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on June 14 in the national capital.
Aam Aadmi Party, which had so far remained neutral on the farmers’ agitation in MP, has also joined the Opposition bandwagon.
Mr Shetti, who has a considerable influence among the farmers in western Maharashtra, is “reconsidering” his ties with the BJP. Apparently miffed over the BJP’s handling of the farmers’ situation in Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shetti told a news agency; “I am reconsidering my tie-up with the BJP. I am unhappy over their shoddy handling of the issue. I will meet Sharad Yadav to plan a nation-wide agitation in the support of farmers’ demands.”
Sources in the BJP revealed Mr Shetti was “unhappy” as he was not “accommodated” in the Fadnavis Cabinet in Mahrashtra. Mr Shetti is the lone MP from his party. It is said Mr Shetti was miffed as Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis inducted another leader of Swabhimani Paksha, Sadabhau Khot, into his Cabinet. Rift within the Swabhimani Paksha became evident when Mr Khot skipped a rally organised by Mr Shetti in Pune recently, demanding loan waiver for the farmers. Delhi chief minister and AAP supreme Arvind Kejriwal has reportedly met Mr Yadav to discuss the farmers’ issues.
There are reports that social activist Medha Patkar could also be roped in by the Opposition parties. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also met Mr Yadav. Reports say the Opposition parties would soon organise a countrywide agitation on the farmers’ issues.