Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today appealed to the state's sugarcane farmers to call off their protests. The sugarcane farmers, who have been protesting since last week in demand of better prices for their produce, met Mr Chavan at his hometown in the Karad district of Maharashtra.
However, the leader of the farmer delegation, Raghunath Patil, said the talks were inconclusive and their agitation would continue. The Chief Minister has reportedly told the farmers that prices of sugarcane would be determined only after a discussion in the state assembly during the upcoming winter session.
Yesterday, the ongoing agitation turned violent after police arrested Raju Shetti, MP and chief of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana
, who served as the leader of the farmers, and his close associate, Sada Khot. A farmer was killed in Sangli when police opened fire to control a crowd of farmland activists. In Kohlapur, a farmer named Pundalik Kokate was killed when a truck ran over him during an agitation.
Mr Shetti has been leading the farmers' agitation, demanding minimum support price of Rs. 3,000 for sugarcane growers, rattling the sugar lobby of western Maharashtra, controlled mostly by Nationalist Congress Party and Congress politicians.(With inputs from IANS)