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‘Kakkaji’-led Farmers Call Off Protest in MP as Kamal Nath Announces Committee to Address Grievances

The RKMS, farmers’ umbrella organisation, having support of over 180 organisations working for farmers on national level, had given a strike call from June 1 to 5 to press for their demands, including loan waiver and 1.5 times return on input.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:May 29, 2019, 6:28 PM IST
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‘Kakkaji’-led Farmers Call Off Protest in MP as Kamal Nath Announces Committee to Address Grievances
File photo of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Mahasangh national president Shivkumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’ .
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Bhopal: The farmers’ body in Madhya Pradesh called off its proposed stir after chief minister Kamal Nath announced formation of a state-level committee to address the farmers’ grievances.

“The committee would work in close coordination with the state government and farmers to address their issues,” Nath said after meeting Rashtriya Kisan Mazdur Mahasangh (RKMS) convenor Shivkumar Sharma ‘Kakkaji’ on Wednesday.

The RKMS, farmers’ umbrella organisation, having support of over 180 organisations working for farmers on national level, had given a strike call from June 1 to 5 to press for their demands, including loan waiver and 1.5 times return on input.

On being asked about his approach towards demands of the farmers, Nath said the meeting was focussed on farm loan waiver.

The farm union leaders, who announced to withdraw their strike call, claimed the committee would meet once every three months to discuss agrarian issues.

“The Chief Minister assured us to do away with anomalies in farm loan waiver,” RKMS state president Dev Narayan Patel told News18.

“I had raised this issue of several farmers losing on loan waiver benefits as they paid their dues even by borrowing money at the end of financial year as on March 31, 2018 and the state government only offered benefits to those who had dues post March 31, 2018,” Patel said.

Chief Minister Kamal Nath directed top state officials to discuss farm loan waiver issues with the RKMS office-bearers later in the day on Wednesday.

“We have withdrawn our stir for the time being. But we have made it clear that we can protest anytime if our demands are not met,” Patel said.

“We had forwarded our grievances on loan waiver anomalies to the chief minister. Officers present on the occasion replied to our issues but said all the issues can’t be addressed in an hour. They have been asked to stay back and have detailed discussions with us,” Kakkaji told News18.

Kakkaji, the chief architect of the 2017’s massive farm stir, wished not to be part of any government commission or committee.

Meanwhile, another farmers’ organisation, Bharatiya Kisan Union led by Anil Yadav, started its three-day farmers’ protest on Wednesday.

Several farmers protested in Misrod area of Bhopal and threw vegetables, fruits and milk on the road. One of the protesters was offered jalabhishek by milk as mark of protest by farmers.

The Chief Minister Kamal Nath has reportedly invited BKU leaders also for talks at Mantralaya in the evening.

Among other demands of the farmers, Minimum Support Price for fruits, vegetables and milk and pension for farmers.

| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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