Mumbai: Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader Raju Shetti on Thursday made a controversial remark while addressing a farmers’ rally in Solapur district.
On the subject of compensation to hailstorm-affected farmers, Mr Shetti said that farmers should beat the ministers who were declaring negligible monetary relief.
Mr Shetti called the BJP-led central and state government a most insensitive one in independent India.
“Now they are coming out with just two thousand to three thousand per hectare for hailstorm-affected farmers. This is peanuts. Farmers are not going to keep quiet. I appeal to all farmers that if ministers approach you with such a less amount, do not accept it; beat them instead.” Mr Shetti said that if any calamity had impacted industries, the government would have given the sector a package.
“But as they are not sensitive towards your (farmers’) issues, they are not paying attention to you,” Mr Shetti said.
Mr Shetti also criticised marketing minister Subhash Deshmukh in his speech.
“Mr Desai is talking about relief for sugarcane farmers. What is his contribution in it? The BJP government allowed importing sugar from Pakistan for so long that the domestic market collapsed and sugarcane growers were badly hurt,” he said.
In a rejoinder to Mr Shetti, Mr Deshmukh said, “He (Mr Shetti) should know that it is the BJP government that has helped farmers in bigger ways than the previous Congress-NCP government. Farmers will not listen to him and they will be with the BJP as they know the real faces of opposition parties.”
Defending Mr Shetti’s remarks, Ravikant Tupkar, leader of SSS, said, “This is the anger of the farmers. If you go to rural Maharashtra and listen to the difficulties of the farmers, everyone will support Mr Shetti.
As BJP is sensing defeat in the coming elections, it has started talking to farmers.”